Top 10 Best Email Marketing Software Platforms 2019

1,000+ Hours of Testing Reveals The Best Email Marketing Platforms. Unbiased Ratings, Benefits, Automation, CRM, Funnels All On Test. 4 Winners!

REVIEW OVERVIEW
GetResponse: Best for Startups and Fast Growing Small Businesses. Can Also Scale Up To Meet Enterprise Demands With a Perfect Portfolio of Services.
Ontraport: Best for Medium to Large Businesses, Ontraport Has Everything Your Demanding Enterprise Will Need.
ActiveCampaign: Best for SMB’s & Enterprise Business Demanding a Great CRM, Marketing Automation & 1st Class Customer Service.
SendX: Best for SMB’s & Startups Wanting Automation, Tagging, Segmentation + Excellent Customer Service At The Best Price.
ConvertKit: Excellent Visual Automation, Forms & Landing Pages But With A Midrange Price Point Who Is It Best For?
AWeber: Good for SMB’s & Startups Wanting Simple Automation, Tagging & Segmentation + Excellent Customer Service & Deliverability.
Benchmark Email: Great for Startups Needing A Good Free Service for 2,000 contacts. The Pro Service is Also Competitively Priced With Innovative Features.
iContact: Best For Larger Businesses Needing Superior Personal Customer Services, Solid Automation & Salesforce Integration.
ConstantContact: Midrange Features, Automation, Forms & Landing Pages, Including Facebook Lead Aquisition, But Also a Midpoint Price Point!
MailChimp: An industry leader, falling behind on system stability, value for money and customer satisfaction.
Top 10 Best Email Marketing Platforms On The Planet
Top 10 Best Email Marketing Platforms On The Planet

Welcome to the most in-depth, unbiased review of email marketing software platforms on the planet.

In our thousands of hours of extensive testing, we have selected the best of the best in terms of value for money & benefits to startups, SMB’s and even large enterprises. Our top 4 are all winners in their own right by offering a great portfolio of services at a great value point.  And most of all, excellent customer service with happy clients.

We rated the customer satisfaction of the vendors through independent 3rd party rating sites and innovative use of Twitter sentiment indicators.

Top 10 Best Email Marketing Platforms 2019:

  1. GetResponse: Best for Startups and Fast Growing Small Businesses.  Get Response Will Also Scale Up To Meet Enterprise Demands With a Perfect Portfolio of Services. Review Winner
  2. Ontraport: Best for Medium to Large Businesses, Ontraport Has  Everything Your Demanding Enterprise Will Need. Review Winner
  3. ActiveCampaign: Best for SMB’s & Enterprise Business Demanding a Great CRM, Marketing Automation & 1st Class Customer Service. Review Winner
  4. SendX: Best for SMB’s & Startups Wanting Automation, Tagging, Segmentation + Excellent Customer Service At The Best Price. Review Winner
  5. ConvertKit: Excellent Visual Automation, Forms & Landing Pages But With A Midrange Price Point Who Is It Best For? Recommended
  6. AWeber: Good for SMB’s & Startups Wanting Simple Automation, Tagging & Segmentation + Excellent Customer Service & Deliverability. Recommended
  7. Benchmark Email: Great for Startups Needing A Good Free Service for 2,000 contacts.  The Pro Service is Also Competitively Priced With Innovative Features.
  8. iContact: Best For Larger Businesses Needing Superior Personal Customer Services, Solid Automation & Salesforce Integration.
  9. ConstantContact: Midrange Features, Automation, Forms & Landing Pages, Including Facebook Lead Aquisition, But Also a Midpoint Price Point!
  10. MailChimp: An industry leader, falling behind on system stability, value for money and customer satisfaction.

The Review Process

We have tested 30 of the most popular email marketing software vendors out of a list of over 100.  We have compared over 80 key features and benefits to be able to make a solid and fair comparison. In total over 2,400 data points have been compiled over our months of testing.  For further details on what we tested jump to the Main Email Marketing Testing & Comparison Page. 


1. GetResponse: Best Overall Service for Startups, SMB’s & Enterprises – Great Features & Pricing

GetResponse A Leader in Email Marketing Automation

Review Winner

GetResponse is simply one of the best email marketing services around, with a complete portfolio of services.

Combining fantastic entry-level pricing with a set of powerful CRM & eCommerce services that will grow with your business and also drive your business forward.

 

GetResponse Review SummaryLikesDislikes
★ Best In Class Pricing✘ No Free Tier
★ Excellent Email Deliverability✘ Spam Check Very Stringent
★ Full Suite of CRM Features
★ Unique AutoFunnel Solution
Visit GetResponse★ Fully Integrated Landing Pages & Payment Gateways
★ Dedicated Line To Account Manager

 

GetResponse Pricing

When it comes to pricing GetResponse have done their homework.  Below you can see that GetResponse currently offer one of the lowest price points but also offers by far the broadest most integrated set of services for all business needs.  So, for the features, you get combined with the pricing GetResponse is the winner.

Competitor Pricing Table – All Email Marketing Services

Value RatingsSendX Email ServiceGet Response Email Marketing ServiceAWeber Email Marketing ServiceBenchmark EmailiContact Email Marketing ServiceConstant Contact Email ServicesConvertKit Email & Sales ServicesMailchimp Email ServiceActive Campaign Email ServicesOntraport Email & CRM ServicesMailJet Email ServiceSendinBlue Email Service
Value☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆
ModelContactContactContactContactContactContactContactContactContactContactEmailEmail
Free-TierNoNoNoYesNoNoNoYesNoNo6K/m - $09K/m - $0
#Contacts
500$7.49$12$19$12$12$17$25$15$9$7930K/m - $9.6540K/m - $25
2,500$15$20$29$29$27$38$41$50$39$14760K/m - $18.9560K/m - $39
10,000$39$60$69$74$67$81$100$99$111$297150K/m - $69120K/m - $67
25,000$112$150$149$150$127$191$166$219$179$497450K/m - $230350K/m - $173
50,0000$172$229$392$231$254$295$316$299$239$599=< 125K
Unlimited$2,999$99 per extra 100K
Cost per Contact (cents)0.390.650.690.740.670.81111.112.97NANA
Visit SendX ServicesVisit GetResponseVisit AWeber ServicesVisit BenchmarkVisit iContact ServicesVisit ConstantContactVisit ConvertKitVisit MailchimpVisit ActiveCampaignVisit OntraportVisit MailJet ServicesVisit SendinBlue

These are the prices for the basic plan, which includes:

  • Email Marketing
  • Autoresponders
  • Unlimited Landing Pages
  • Automation Templates
  • Forms & Surveys
  • Exit Popups
  • Facebook Adverts Integration
  • 150+ integrations

At industry-leading low price points, GetResponse offers more features than nearly every other competitor which means a great deal for you.

View the GetResponse pricing page to view the tiers of service for yourself.

GetResponse Email Marketing & Automation Features

Out of all the email marketing companies we tested, GetResponse offer the full suite of email marketing and automation features.

Like many of the services reviewed, they offer a huge selection of pre-designed email templates and a good selection of high-quality images for use in your email campaigns.  The email design process is also fully drag-and-drop making crafting your message a breeze.

In fact, GetResponse has the largest collection with over 500 newsletter templates and over 5,000 licensed images, so you can be sure your campaign will look professional and unique.

Also included are pre-designed and highly customizable email capture forms for your website.  They are also one of the few services to offer Exit Popups for your website.

All software providers offer Autoresponders, Email Sequencing, Customer Tagging, and Segmentation.  What separates GetResponse is the ease of implementation and the levels of automation available.  The video below will give you a good idea of how easy this process is.

GetResponse Email Marketing Automation Tour Video


What Makes GetResponse Unique?

GetResponse has a few unique services which separate them from the crowd.  My favorites are:

Perfect Timing – Perfect timing is a really intelligent way to deliver your emails at the precise moment your customer is most likely to open them.  GetResponse uses algorithms to analyze your contacts opening times.  If your contact is an early riser and usually opens your emails at 5 am, then the algorithm takes account of this information and delivers the future messages at this time.  This means every single contact has the right message at the right time according to their behavior, this is fantastic. GetResponse claims Perfect Timing increases open rates by 23% and click-through rates by 20%, and I do not doubt them.

Time Travel – if you operate a business that spans multiple time zones then this feature is perfect for you.  Suppose you have a special offer that runs from 9 am to 5 pm on a specific day, you can use the Time Travel Feature to time your email’s arrival for exactly 9 am on that day in their timezone.

Reporting & Analytics

Again, GetResponse leads the way in basic and advanced reporting and analytics.  You will have the ability to analyze and improve your campaigns with reporting that allows you to compare desktop versus mobile, regional performance or even global performance.  The Global View feature even maps the individual to their location on a map and uncovers open rates, click rates, and social shares.  This can be invaluable if you are planning a roadshow, conference or any regional activity as you can visualize and target your clients in that area.

GetResponse Global View Email Marketing Reporting
GetResponse Global View Email Marketing Reporting

Of course, you can also see list growth, unsubscribes and even social shares.  Finally and importantly A/B Testing, the ability to test the email performance with different subject lines and content, is included even with the Basic starter package.

Advanced Features

In terms of advanced features, GetResponse is the only service that offers both 3rd party Webinar Integration but most importantly a fully integrated Webinar Service.  Webinars are an excellent way to engage your clients and share the advantages of your products and services, so having a fully integrated Webinar Service will have the following benefits:

  • Saving Money – Webinar Services can be quite expensive depending on your needs, GetResponse will also record, store and enable the streaming of your recorded webinars in the future.
  • Saving Time – You are able to schedule the webinar quickly and target your audience based on your existing contacts and then GetResponse will take care of the launch, reminders, and followups.
  • Improved Communication Process  – Finally all the actions form your attendees will be tracked in your CRM and analytics so you can initiate further activities.

Email to RSS

Email to RSS is a simple yet effective way to streamline the communication process with your audience.  You can set it up so that when you publish a new article on your website in a specific category the email service will be notified and can build a customized email and send it to your audience, without you having to do anything.  This is a huge timesaver.

Surprisingly, not all email newsletter providers offer this service.  To view the other vendors offering this service check out our Email Service Master Comparison Table.

SMS Messaging Integration

This service has SMS integration, and interestingly only 4 out of our 11 services tested offer an SMS service.  SMS is a great way to remind your customers of time-critical actions, for example confirming a table reservation, or reminding a client of their webinar reservation.

The Excellent GetResponse Email Marketing Visualization – Screenshot

GetResponse Advanced Automation Image
GetResponse Advanced Automation Visualizes Complex Automation with Simplicity – Click to Zoom.

Site Chat

Out of all tests, only 3 software vendors offer a fully integrated site chat function, GetResponse is one of them.  An integrated chat function helps to complete the picture of communications.  Imagine for example that a customer visits your website, they ask a question via chat to your helpdesk.  Then later they signup to your email list and again via your website have a conversation with the support team.  All of these interactions will be captured and will ultimately feed into the customer journey reporting and the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. As you will read below you can even automatically assign a customer a score to be able to assess their interest in a specific product or service.  Very clever.

Enterprise Functions

Here we take a look at the functionality available for larger companies, specifically those with a dedicated salesforce and multiple roles within the marketing department.

Multiple User Accounts

For a multi-person marketing team, the ability to be able to collaborate on campaigns and assign roles to different employees is critical.  Multiple accounts are covered here in an elegant way enabling both internal employees and even external freelancers the right permissions to complete their tasks.  There is even a mobile app to enable quick responses even when team members are not at their desk.

Sales Lead Team Workflow

Having the ability to assign hot prospects to members of the sales team is important for businesses that need personal contact with the customer, this is exactly what is enables with the sales lead team workflow services. Efficiency within sales is key to be able to grow sales and keep costs down.

SalesForce Integration

SalesForce.com is the industry leader when it comes to CRM, so being able to integrate your marketing departments contact list to the Salesforce ecosystem can be critical for enterprise customers. GetResponse has developed its own integrated service to enable the seamless passage of customer data, messaging, collaboration and messaging between the services.

Primary Features: AutoFunnel

Only 3 of our tested companies provide a Sales Funnel service.  GetResponse arguably does this better than it’s competitors by having services that cover the entire sales process.

GetResponse Auto Funnels Lead the Industry
GetResponse Auto Funnels Lead the Industry – From Social Aquisition to Lead Pages That Generate Sales

[Related Article: Read the Full Detailed GetResponse Review]

Amazingly AutoFunnel is part of the GetResponse Plus Plan, and for only $179,- per month you can host 25,000 contacts and get access to the entire portfolio of AutoFunnel related services.

Primary Features: Sales & Payments

The key to being able to automate the sales funnel shown in the previous section is to have the ability to integrate the landing pages into the process.  Many small businesses using WordPress, for example, will struggle to structure and host high-quality landing pages.  The challenge is getting your website to communicate with PayPal, Stripe or Square.  If you have a reoccurring payment model, for example, a membership program, this is close to impossible to manage by yourself.

Not only does GetResponse offer a fully integrated landing page and payment processing service, but they also have integrated abandoned cart followups and effective customer Win Back automation.  This is an impressive collection of integrated services, which means you do not have to worry about using 3rd party integrators or solutions to try to automate your workflow.  This is as beneficial for SMB’s as it is for enterprise businesses.

Customer Relationship Mgt (CRM) & Remarketing

As mentioned previously, the CRM integration enables the whole service to integrate seamlessly.  Many email marketing companies claim to have a great CRM service but only a few offer a lead rating system and cross-platform customer tracing.

Lead Scoring & Cross-Platform Journey Reporting

Consider this example, a customer sees your Facebook advert and takes action to visit your website for further information. They then ask a question via site chat to your helpdesk.  They click around your website looking for further information on a product. Then later they signup to your email list and then send an email to the support team.  All of these interactions will be captured and reported in the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. This appears to be a very interested and active customer.  Based on the Scoring System rules you create, you can flag a customer as a hot prospect and assign the task to a member of the sales team to reach out to them.

This exemplifies the cross-platform journey of a potential customer and enables you to reach out to hot prospects for a sale.

Ease of Use & Customer Ratings

Using as many independent sources as possible we have rated the services provided.

Our rating on ease of use and design☆☆☆☆☆
Using the independent ratings from Trustpilot Users – we also filtered out obviously biased ratings.☆☆
Customer Twitter Sentiment Index☆☆☆☆☆
Support (Chat, Email, Phone)Chat, Email
Support Times24/7
Response TimeImmediate
Average Ratings of Support Times, Response Times & Accessibility☆☆☆☆

GetResponse scores highly in both ease of use and their modern approach to design.  Despite the vast and powerful array of features and functions, the service is easy to navigate and use.

GetResponse Summary

GetResponse offers a fully integrated service with practically every feature you can imagine.  Surprisingly they can compete effectively at both ends of the price spectrum, offering industry-leading low prices for Startups and SMB’s but also offering a full spectrum Pro service for the enterprise.  Whichever tier of service you choose you can be sure GetResponse will grow with and help grow your business.

Try a GetResponse Free Trial


2. Ontraport: Best for Medium to Large Businesses, Ontraport Has  Everything Your Enterprise Will Need.

Ontraport Email & Ecommerce

Review Winner

Ontraport is the complete CRM & email marketing solution that becomes especially cost-effective for enterprises with large contact lists of more than 50,000 subscribers.

Ontraport is simply one of the best email marketing services around with a set of fully integrated CRM & eCommerce services that will grow your business.

Ontraport Review SummaryLikesDislikes
★ Best In Class Pricing For Large Clients✘ Pricey for Startups
★ Excellent Email Deliverability
★ Full Suite of CRM Features
★ Complete eCommerce Solutions
Visit Ontraport★ Fully Integrated Landing Pages & Payment Gateways
★ Dedicated Line To Account Manager

 

Ontraport Pricing

When it comes to pricing Ontraport are clearly targeting fast-growing businesses and medium to large enterprises.  Below you can see that Ontraport currently offer one of the lowest price points and interestingly offers the broadest most integrated set of services for all business needs.

Important Points On Ontraport Pricing

  • Ontraport seems expensive at first especially for companies who only need simple & cheap email marketing services, such as SendX or AWeber.
  • The pricing model’s Plus, Pro & Enterprise unlock a serious amount of features and powerful automation.
  • If you are experiencing rapid growth in your business you may want to pay a little more upfront with Ontraport so you will not need to later migrate to this full-service marketing machine.
  • Ontraport has only 2 serious rivals for a fully integrated Email Marketing & CRM system, GetResponse & ActiveCampaign.  If you compare the full-service enterprise tier for over 10,000 contacts, Ontraport is at least 30% to 50% cheaper.

Ontraport – The Best Enterprise Tier Pricing

Monthly Contract PricingOntraport Email & EcommerceActive Campaign
Enterprise Tier – 10K Contacts$297$499$1,199
Enterprise Tier – 50K Contacts$597Negotiation$1,199
Enterprise Tier – 100K Contacts$697Negotiation$1,199

View the Ontraport pricing page to view the tiers of service for yourself.

At industry-leading low price points on Enterprise Tier Services, Ontraport offers more features than nearly every other competitor which means a great deal for you at 10,000 contacts or more.

Ontraport Email Marketing & Automation Features

Out of all the email marketing companies we tested, Ontraport offers the fullest suite of email marketing and automation features.

Like all of the services reviewed, they offer a huge selection of pre-designed email templates and a good selection of high-quality images for use in your email campaigns.  The email design process is also fully drag-and-drop making crafting your message a breeze.

Also included are pre-designed and highly customizable email capture forms for your website.

All software providers offer Autoresponders, Email Sequencing, Customer Tagging, and Segmentation.  What separates Ontraport is the ease of implementation and the levels of automation available.  The video below will give you a good idea of how easy this process is.

Ontraport Email Marketing Automation Tour Video

Reporting & Analytics

Again, Ontraport leads the way in basic and advanced reporting and analytics.  You will have the ability to analyze and improve your campaigns with reporting that allows you to compare desktop versus mobile, regional performance or even global performance.  The Ontraport Metrics Dashboard is highly configurable to report on the key performance metrics (KPI’s) important to your business.

Of course, you can also see list growth, unsubscribes and even social shares.  Finally and importantly A/B Testing, the ability to test the email performance with different subject lines and content, is included even with the Basic starter package.

Advanced Features

In terms of advanced features, Ontraport is the only service that offers both 3rd party Webinar Integration but most importantly a fully integrated Webinar Service.  Webinars are an excellent way to engage your clients and share the advantages of your products and services, so having a fully integrated Webinar Service will have the following benefits:

  • Saving Money – Webinar Services can be quite expensive depending on your needs, Ontraport will also record, store and enable the streaming of your recorded webinars in the future.
  • Saving Time – You are able to schedule the webinar quickly and target your audience based on your existing contacts and then Ontraport will take care of the launch, reminders, and followups.
  • Improved Communication Process  – Finally all the actions form your attendees will be tracked in your CRM and analytics so you can initiate further activities.

With the Enterprise service tier, you can host webinars for up to 500 people.

Time Zone Specific Delivery

If you operate a business that spans multiple time zones then this feature is perfect for you.  Suppose you have a special offer that runs from 9 am to 5 pm on a specific day, you can use the Time Travel Feature you time your email’s arrival for exactly 9 am on that day in their timezone.

SMS Messaging Integration

This service has SMS integration, and interestingly only 4 out of our 11 services tested offer an SMS service.  SMS is a great way to remind your customers of time-critical actions, for example confirming a table reservation, or reminding a client of their webinar reservation.

Postcard Marketing & Delivery

Interestingly Ontraport also offers a fully integrated postcard service. Nothing impresses a customer more than a postcard to say thank you, or wish them a happy birthday.

Surprisingly, not all email newsletter providers offer this service.  To view the other vendors offering this service check out our Email Service Master Comparison Table.

Visit Ontraport

Ontraport Email Marketing Outreach Campaigns

Membership Site Integration

Of all the research we have done, Ontraport is the only vendor to offer integrated membership site management.  This is a very important feature if you offer a subscription-based service.  Whether it is a content-driven or service driven product, an integrated method for linking your website’s services to continued membership payment subscription renewals can be a costly headache without an integrated service.

Enterprise Functions

Here we take a look at the functionality available for larger companies, specifically those with a dedicated salesforce and multiple roles within the marketing department.

Multiple User Accounts

For a multi-person marketing team, the ability to be able to collaborate on campaigns and assign roles to different employees is critical.  Multiple accounts are covered here in an elegant way enabling both internal employees and even external freelancers the right permissions to complete their tasks.  Each new user will cost an addition $47 per month.

Business Process Automation

This $47/m may sound a little expensive, but not when you understand that multiple users unlock powerful Business Process Automation (BPA).  You can use it to automate any collaboration, not just in the marketing department but any part of your business, for example, talent acquisition or purchasing.

Sales Lead Team Workflow

Having the ability to assign hot prospects to members of the sales team is important for businesses that need personal contact with the customer, this is exactly what is enables with the sales lead team workflow services. Efficiency within sales is key to be able to grow sales and keep costs down.

Salesforce Integration

SalesForce.com is the industry leader when it comes to CRM, so being able to integrate your marketing departments contact list to the Salesforce ecosystem can be critical for enterprise customers. Ontraport has developed its own integrated service to enable the seamless passage of customer data, messaging, collaboration and messaging between the services.

Primary Features: Sales & Payments

The key to being able to automate the sales funnel shown in the previous section is to have the ability to integrate the landing pages into the process.  Many small businesses using WordPress, for example, will struggle to structure and host high-quality landing pages.  The challenge is getting your website to communicate with PayPal, Stripe or Square.  If you have a reoccurring payment model, for example, a membership program, this is close to impossible to manage by yourself.

Not only does Ontraport offer a fully integrated landing page and payment processing service, but they also have integrated abandoned cart followups and effective customer Win Back automation.  This is an impressive collection of integrated services, which means you do not have to worry about using 3rd party integrators or solutions to try to automate your workflow.  This is as beneficial for SMB’s as it is for enterprise businesses.

Generating Your Own Salesforce – Partner Program

Ontraport is the only marketing automation company in our extensive research that offers an integrated partner management program.

Consider this, you have a great product but you do not have the budget to fund a salesforce, or even more importantly you want to be able to scale a workforce quickly and efficiently.  This is where Affiliate Marketing or a Partner Program excels.  You offer a fixed or recurring revenue stream to other businesses to promote your product, e.g. $50 per sale.

Implementing this by yourself is a seriously difficult challenge, tracking sales, payments, returns, it can quickly become a nightmare.  There are many companies out there that will offer this as a service, but believe me, they are expensive.

Ontraport solves this problem by offering a turn-key solution to partner management. The best thing about it, is it is all included in the price, no extra charge.

[Related Article: Full Ontraport Service Details – Review & Test]

Customer Relationship Mgt (CRM) & Remarketing

As mentioned previously, the CRM integration enables the whole service to integrate seamlessly.  Many email marketing companies claim to have a great CRM service but only a few offer a lead rating system and cross-platform customer tracing.

Ontraport CRM Overview Video

 

SalesForce Automation – Lead Scoring & Journey Reporting

Ontraport - Evaluating A Customers Likelihood To Buy
Ontraport – Evaluating A Customers Likelihood To Buy

Consider this example, a customer sees your Facebook advert and takes action to visit your website for further information. They click around your lead pages looking for further information on a product. Then later they signup to your email list and then send an email to the support team.  All of these interactions will be captured and reported in the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. This appears to be a very interested and active customer.  Based on the Scoring System rules you create, you can flag a customer as a hot prospect and assign the task to a member of the sales team to reach out to them.

This exemplifies the cross-platform journey of a potential customer and enables you to reach out to hot prospects for a sale.

Ease of Use & Customer Ratings

Using as many independent sources as possible we have rated the services provided.

Our rating on ease of use and design☆☆☆☆☆
Using the independent ratings from Trustpilot Users – we also filtered out obviously biased ratings.☆☆☆☆
Customer Twitter Sentiment Index☆☆☆☆☆
Support (Chat, Email, Phone)Chat, Email
Support Times12/7
Response TimeImmediate
Average Ratings of Support Times, Response Times & Accessibility☆☆☆☆

Ontraport scores highly in both ease of use and their modern approach to design.  Despite the vast and powerful array of features and functions, the service is easy to navigate and use.

Ontraport Review Summary

Ontraport may be the giant you have never heard about.  But they were established in 2006 and offer the single most well-rounded solution for growing your business. Offering a full CRM, BPA, a complete Email Marketing & Automation Service, Landing Pages, and even payment gateway services, this is already a great package.  Add to that, Membership Site management and a completely automated Partner Management solution and you have a worthy review winner.

Visit Ontraport


3. ActiveCampaign: Best for SMB’s & Enterprise Business Demanding Great CRM, Marketing Automation & Customer Service.

Active Campaign

Review Winner

ActiveCampaign is simply one of the best email marketing services according to our testing.

Combining high-quality analytics, landing pages, full payment gateways, and multi-platform customer journey tracking.

They are a class act.

 

ActiveCampaign Review SummaryLikesDislikes
★ Excellent Customer Satisfaction Ratings✘ Higher Than Average Pricing
★ Excellent Email Deliverability
★ Full Suite of CRM Features
★ Sales Funnels
Visit ActiveCampaign★ Fully Integrated Landing Pages & Payment Gateways
★ Dedicated Line To Account Manager

 

ActiveCampaign Pricing

When it comes to pricing ActiveCampaign is not the leader they came seventh in our study, however, it is important to remember that price is not everything and ActiveCampaign will be able to grow with your business demands and believe me the features are extensive.

Competitor Pricing Table – All Email Marketing Services

Value RatingsSendX Email ServiceGet Response Email Marketing ServiceAWeber Email Marketing ServiceBenchmark EmailiContact Email Marketing ServiceConstant Contact Email ServicesConvertKit Email & Sales ServicesMailchimp Email ServiceActive Campaign Email ServicesOntraport Email & CRM ServicesMailJet Email ServiceSendinBlue Email Service
Value☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆
ModelContactContactContactContactContactContactContactContactContactContactEmailEmail
Free-TierNoNoNoYesNoNoNoYesNoNo6K/m - $09K/m - $0
#Contacts
500$7.49$12$19$12$12$17$25$15$9$7930K/m - $9.6540K/m - $25
2,500$15$20$29$29$27$38$41$50$39$14760K/m - $18.9560K/m - $39
10,000$39$60$69$74$67$81$100$99$111$297150K/m - $69120K/m - $67
25,000$112$150$149$150$127$191$166$219$179$497450K/m - $230350K/m - $173
50,0000$172$229$392$231$254$295$316$299$239$599=< 125K
Unlimited$2,999$99 per extra 100K
Cost per Contact (cents)0.390.650.690.740.670.81111.112.97NANA
Visit SendX ServicesVisit GetResponseVisit AWeber ServicesVisit BenchmarkVisit iContact ServicesVisit ConstantContactVisit ConvertKitVisit MailchimpVisit ActiveCampaignVisit OntraportVisit MailJet ServicesVisit SendinBlue

ActiveCampaign Email Marketing & Automation Features

Out of all the email marketing companies we tested, ActiveCampaign offers the full suite of email marketing and automation features.

Like all of the services reviewed, they offer a huge selection of pre-designed email templates and a good selection of high-quality images for use in your email campaigns.  The email design process is also fully drag-and-drop making crafting your message a breeze.

In fact, ActiveCampaign has a reasonable collection with 25 newsletter templates and a limited supply of licensed images, however, they will host your uploaded images.

Also included are 4 pre-designed and customizable email capture forms for your website including Inline, Floating, Pop-Ups and a Floating Bar form.

All software providers offer Autoresponders, Email Sequencing, Customer Tagging, and Segmentation.  What separates ActiveCampaign is the ease of implementation and the levels of automation available.  The video below will give you a good idea of how easy this process is.

Special Feature: Customer Experience Automation (CXA)

Customer Experience Automation (CXA) is the ability for automation to customize itself to every individual customer—so you can get better results from the same amount of work. When you create next-gen automation, you create a single simple flow. Machine learning and other dynamic features turn that flow into hundreds of unique experiences–created fresh for every person. Our automation accomplishes this in a few ways:

  • Timing: Create unique pauses and send times, so that every message arrives at the perfect moment.
  • Predictive Sending: this product is a major step to providing automation that helps you give every customer a truly unique experience.
    • Send automation emails at the most impactful time for each individual
    • Truly optimized send times at the contact level vs. account level
    • Available in Professional and Enterprise plans
  • Routing: Send people through the unique sequence that makes sense for them.
  • Content: Customize every message for each person who sees it.

Customer Experience Automation (CXA) Video

Reporting & Analytics

ActiveCampaign has a solid set of basic and advanced reporting and analytics.  You will have the ability to analyze and improve your campaigns with reporting that allows you to compare desktop versus mobile, regional performance or even global performance.  The reporting features even map the individual to their location on a map and uncovers open rates, click rates.  This can be invaluable if you are planning a roadshow, conference or any regional activity as you can visualize and target your clients in that area. In addition, they even have a timeline view where you can replay the opens and clicks as they happened. Very nice.

[Related Post – Compare All Email Marketing Services Side By Side]

Of course, you can also see list growth, unsubscribes and even social shares.  Finally and importantly A/B Testing, the ability to test the email performance with different subject lines and content, is included even with the Basic starter package.

Visit ActiveCampaign

Advanced Features

SMS Messaging Integration

This service has SMS integration, and interestingly only 4 out of our 11 services tested offer an SMS service.  SMS is a great way to remind your customers of time-critical actions, for example confirming a table reservation, or reminding a client of their webinar reservation.

Site Chat

Out of all tests, only 3 software vendors offer a fully integrated site chat function, ActiveCampaign is one of them.  An integrated chat function helps to complete the picture of communications.  Imagine for example that a customer visits your website, they ask a question via chat to your helpdesk.  Then later they signup to your email list and again via your website have a conversation with the support team.  All of these interactions will be captured and will ultimately feed into the customer journey reporting and the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. As you will read below you can even automatically assign a customer a score to be able to assess their interest in a specific product or service.  Very clever.

Enterprise Functions

Here we take a look at the functionality available for larger companies, specifically those with a dedicated salesforce and multiple roles within the marketing department.

Multiple User Accounts

For a multi-person marketing team, the ability to be able to collaborate on campaigns and assign roles to different employees is critical.  Multiple accounts are covered here in an elegant way enabling both internal employees and even external freelancers the right permissions to complete their tasks.  There is even a mobile app to enable quick responses even when team members are not at their desk.

Sales Lead Team Workflow

Having the ability to assign hot prospects to members of the sales team is important for businesses that need personal contact with the customer, this is exactly what is enables with the sales lead team workflow services. Efficiency within sales is key to be able to grow sales and keep costs down.

SalesForce Integration

SalesForce.com is the industry leader when it comes to CRM, so being able to integrate your marketing departments contact list to the Salesforce ecosystem can be critical for enterprise customers. ActiveCampaign has developed its own integrated service to enable the seamless passage of customer data, messaging, collaboration and messaging between the services.

Killer Feature: Funnels

Only 3 of our tested companies provide a Sales Funnel service.  ActiveCampaign arguably does this better than most by having services that cover the entire sales process.

Deal Pipelines With ActiveCampaign
Deal Pipelines With ActiveCampaign

[Related Article: Active Campaign Pipelines Details in Our Full Review]

Customer Relationship Mgt (CRM) & Remarketing

As mentioned previously, the CRM integration enables the whole service to integrate seamlessly.  Many email marketing companies claim to have a great CRM service but only a few offer a lead rating system and cross-platform customer tracing.

Win Probability & Cross-Platform Journey Reporting

Consider this example, a customer sees your Facebook advert and takes action to visit your website for further information. They then ask a question via site chat to your helpdesk.  They click around your website looking for further information on a product. Then later they signup to your email list and then send an email to the support team.  All of these interactions will be captured and reported in the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. This appears to be a very interested and active customer.  Based on the Win Probability a customer will be flagged as a hot prospect and can be assigned to a member of the sales team to reach out to them.

This exemplifies the cross-platform journey of a potential customer and enables you to reach out to hot prospects for a sale.

Ease of Use & Customer Ratings

Using as many independent sources as possible we have rated the services provided.

Our rating on ease of use and design☆☆☆☆
Using the independent ratings from Trustpilot Users – we also filtered out obviously biased ratings.☆☆☆☆
Customer Twitter Sentiment Index☆☆☆☆☆
Support (Chat, Email, Phone)Chat, Email
Support Times10/5
Response TimeImmediate
Average Ratings of Support Times, Response Times & Accessibility☆☆☆☆☆

ActiveCampaign scores highly in customer service and customer satisfaction.  Despite the vast and powerful array of features and functions, the service is easy to navigate and use.

ActiveCampaign Review Summary

ActiveCampaign offers an almost complete set of tools and what it does not provide natively is covered with 250+ integrations.  Its customers are extremely happy and are willing to pay a little more to get the highest levels of customer service and personal support.  Innovation in A.I. and Machine learning is allowing great features to bubble to the surface, such as predictive sending and predictive win probability reporting.

Visit ActiveCampaign


4. SendX: Best for SMB’s & Startups Wanting Automation, Tagging, Segmentation + Excellent Customer Service At The Best Price.

SendX Email Service

Review Winner

SendX is one of the newest email marketing services existing for just a few years, but this enables it to do things differently.

SendX’s focus on email deliverability, customer service, and marketing automation all at the best price point make it a solid choice for startups & small to medium businesses.

Packed full of great features like one-click resend to unopened and automated geo-targeted timezone deliverability and best open time deliverability make it a worthy winner.

SendX Review SummaryLikesDislikes
★ Industry Leading Pricing✘ No CRM
★ Good Automation, Segmentation & Tagging✘ No Funnels
★ 24/7 Phone & Chat Support
★ Excellent Customer Satisfaction Ratings
Visit SendX★ 50+ Email Templates +1/2 Million Stock Photos
★ Excellent Email Deliverability + Smart Deliverability + Geo-Targeted Deliverability + Push Notifications

 

SendX Pricing

When it comes to pricing SendX is the leader.  They are actually the lowest cost service provider in 4 of the 5 categories, meaning if you have, or plan to have more than 500 contacts then SendX is the best choice.

Competitor Pricing Table – All Email Marketing Services

Value RatingsSendX Email ServiceGet Response Email Marketing ServiceAWeber Email Marketing ServiceBenchmark EmailiContact Email Marketing ServiceConstant Contact Email ServicesConvertKit Email & Sales ServicesMailchimp Email ServiceActive Campaign Email ServicesOntraport Email & CRM ServicesMailJet Email ServiceSendinBlue Email Service
Value☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆
ModelContactContactContactContactContactContactContactContactContactContactEmailEmail
Free-TierNoNoNoYesNoNoNoYesNoNo6K/m - $09K/m - $0
#Contacts
500$7.49$12$19$12$12$17$25$15$9$7930K/m - $9.6540K/m - $25
2,500$15$20$29$29$27$38$41$50$39$14760K/m - $18.9560K/m - $39
10,000$39$60$69$74$67$81$100$99$111$297150K/m - $69120K/m - $67
25,000$112$150$149$150$127$191$166$219$179$497450K/m - $230350K/m - $173
50,0000$172$229$392$231$254$295$316$299$239$599=< 125K
Unlimited$2,999$99 per extra 100K
Cost per Contact (cents)0.390.650.690.740.670.81111.112.97NANA
Visit SendX ServicesVisit GetResponseVisit AWeber ServicesVisit BenchmarkVisit iContact ServicesVisit ConstantContactVisit ConvertKitVisit MailchimpVisit ActiveCampaignVisit OntraportVisit MailJet ServicesVisit SendinBlue

Unlike most email service providers, SendX does not offer complicated tiers of service.  There is simply one service & price and this includes:

  • Email Marketing Automation
  • Unlimited Email Sends
  • Segmentation, Tagging, Autoresponders, Drip Campaigns
  • Signup Forms, Email Templates & Stock Photos
  • Geo-location Timezone Delivery
  • Smart Delivery Based On User Open Patterns
  • 1-Click Unopen Resends
  • Multi-User Roles & Teams
  • Free Migrations Service and much more.

What I like about the SendX pricing model is that it is simple and transparent.  There are no hidden charges, and they will even migrate you from another service provider free of charge, this is impressive.

SendX Email Marketing & Automation Features

SendX offers a selection of pre-designed email templates and a good selection of high-quality images for use in your email campaigns.  The email design process is also fully drag-and-drop making crafting your message a breeze.

In fact, SendX has a collection of 50+ high converting newsletter templates and impressive 1/2 million licensed images, the most of any other provider.  This will ensure your emails will look professional and unique.

SendX Service Overview Video

SendX Email Capture Forms

SendX also has a solid collection of pre-designed email capture forms which are fully customizable using a drag and drop interface. They also have a plugin for WordPress and Medium or alternatively a javascript embed code option.

I created a popup form in just a few minutes using the intuitive wizard which guides you through the process.  The forms application is more powerful than all the others I have tested.

The ability to endlessly customize the forms is what separates it from the crowd.  Every type of form is supported including a bar form, full pages, slider, and exit intent.  Believe it or not, exit-intent forms are rarely included by the email marketing services providers, but SendX includes it at no extra cost.

Powerful Form Actions With SendX
Powerful Form Actions With SendX

Most impressively of all, you can even customize your forms based on what the contact has already done in the past.  This means if they are a repeat visitor to your site, a member or even a customer who has already purchased a product, you can tailor a specific contextual message, just for them.

Marketing Automation

Most software providers offer Autoresponders, Email Sequencing/ Drip Campaigns, Customer Tagging, and Segmentation.  SendX provides all of these services included in the price.  The automation is based on the IF-THIS-THEN-THAT model and is simple to use.

I like the bulk action automation options, which allow you to automate tedious list maintenance, for example, is a contact unsubscribes you can automatically remove them from lists and delete their contact information.

SendX Reporting & Analytics

SendX has a great set of reporting and analytics.  You will have the ability to analyze and improve your campaigns with reporting that allows you to compare open rates, undeliverable, unsubscribes clicks over time and more.  You can also seamlessly segment your list based on the responses or actions against your email.

Geo-Visualization With SendX – Screenshot

SendX Reporting With Geo Overlay
SendX Reporting With Geo Overlay

[Related Post – Read The Full SendX Review for Further Features]

Of course, you can also see list growth, unsubscribes and even social shares.  Finally and importantly A/B Testing, the ability to test the email performance with different subject lines and content, is included in the service.

Visit SendX for a Free 14 Day Trial

 

Advanced Email Features

SendX Smart Send – Machine Learning?

We are seeing a very strong trend in the industry towards machine learning to improve email services.  Take for example the excellent new innovations by SendX, which enables you to target each individual contact with an email delivered at the usual time they open emails, so if your contact reads their emails at 6:30 am weekdays, the email will be delivered then, so it is at the top of the inbox  You can also deliver the email at, for example 9am, in every timezone.

SendX Smart Send - Delivering Email At The Right Time
SendX Smart Send – Delivering Email At The Right Time

So, SendX is providing innovative uses of A.I. and machine learning all at the best price point in the industry.

Surprisingly, not all email newsletter providers offer this service.  To view the other vendors offering this service check out our Email Service Master Comparison Table.

Dedicated IP For Sends

SendX also offers you the option to use a specific IP address for the SMTP server of your choice, this is a very nice feature that can help with deliverability rates if you currently have an issue with your domain’s reputation.

Click Heatmap For Email & Landing Pages

In addition to the already solid set of features is the ability to visualize what links in any given email are clicked the most.  The Click heatmap is very valuable, and when used in conjunction with A/B testing it can improve the effectiveness of your email campaigns.

SendX Email Click Heatmaps
SendX Email Click Heatmaps

One-Click Unopened Resends

Again the simple approach to design and functionality adopted by SendX means you can easily resend an email to contacts who did not open the original email by changing the title/subject line and resubmitting.

SendX’s Features for Enterprise & Ecommerce

SendX is clearly not aiming at enterprise customers or trying to replace a fully-fledged Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. Most email marketers do not really need this level of functionality. So if you are part of a larger team who need CRM you will want to consider GetResponseActiveCampaign or Ontraport. GetResponse has a great price point and the most complete set of features.

Multiple User Accounts & Collaboration

SendX does, however, allow you to host multiple accounts to enable better workflow and collaboration in the marketing department.  You can add different accounts with different permissions.  Permissions are simple, you either have the administrator or contributor privileges.

Integrations To Enterprise Email Services

SendX has also done their homework by providing a set of native integrations to email services that corporations are likely to use.  The integrations cover:

  • Amazon AWS SES
  • Twilio Send Grid
  • Mailgun
  • PostMark
  • Gmail
  • Office 365

SendX Integrations

SendX does not have native payment processors or eCommerce functionality like GetResponse, but it does have a set of powerful integrations that enable this functionality.

SendX’s strategy is not to build a completely integrated solution themselves, but to build integrations to a select group of 3rd parties.  In addition to that, they have a Zapier integration which enables another 1,500 services.  So you can rest assured all the usual payment processors and eCommerce services are covered including:

  • Paypal – Payments
  • Stripe – Payments
  • Shopify – eCommerce
  • Samcart – eCommerce
  • WooCommerce – eCommerce
  • PipeDrive – CRM
  • DEMIO – Webinars
  • ClickFunnels – Landing Pages
  • WordPress – Web Hosting
  • Medium – Collect Subscribers via Medium Articles
  • Zapier – Offering 1,000’s more integrations.

Ease of Use & Customer Ratings

Using as many independent sources as possible we have rated the services provided.

Our rating on ease of use and design☆☆☆☆☆
Using the independent ratings from Trustpilot Users – we also filtered out obviously biased ratings.N/A
Customer Twitter Sentiment Index☆☆☆☆☆
Support (Chat, Email, Phone)Phone, Chat, Email
Support Times24/7
Response TimeImmediate
Average Ratings of Support Times, Response Times & Accessibility☆☆☆☆☆

 

SendX scores highly in customer service and customer satisfaction.  Whatever problem you may be facing the talented and passionate support team is available instantly, the support service is easy to navigate and use.  I asked a question on the website via the chatbot and was then immediately transferred to a human, who helped me out and also offered me a free phone consultation.

Free Migration Service

Finally, the icing on the cake is that SendX will migrate you from your current email newsletter service provider to SendX for free.  One of the biggest problems is that when you have built your contact lists, funnels and automation with one company, the thought of moving to another provider is a headache of cost and effort.  The fact that SendX provides this as a courtesy is impressive.

SendX Review Summary

SendX’s focus on email deliverability, customer service, and marketing automation all at the best price point make it a solid choice for startups & small to medium businesses.  Packed full of great features like one-click resend to unopened and automated geo-targeted timezone deliverability and best open time deliverability make it a worthy winner.

Visit SendX for a Free 14 Day Trial


5. ConvertKit: Excellent Visual Automation, Forms & Landing Pages But With A Midrange Price Point Who Is It Best For?

ConvertKit Email Service

Great Work Life Recommended

ConvertKit’s focus on email deliverability, and intuitive marketing automation and a slick interface make it a solid service offering.

But with a significantly higher price point than other competitors, we need to look at what extra they bring to the table.

ConvertKit Review SummaryLikesDislikes
★ Great Visual Automation & Reporting✘ Pricing
★ Segmentation, Tagging & Broadcasts✘ Limited Support Times
★ Exit Intent Forms
★ Landing Pages With Real-Time Performance Reporting
Visit ConvertKit★ 100K Free Stock Photos
★ Excellent Email Deliverability

 

ConvertKit Pricing

When it comes to pricing ConvertKit is in 7th place of the 11 vendors in the table below. So they are definitely nowhere near the best price points, but their service is targeted at start-ups and creators with new ideas.  For me targeting new businesses should mean you offer a lower pricepoint especially at the under 10,000 subscribers range.  ConvertKit charge 1c per contact every month (on a yearly contract), compare that to SendX who charge 0.39 cents per contact.

Competitor Pricing Table – All Email Marketing Services

Value RatingsSendX Email ServiceGet Response Email Marketing ServiceAWeber Email Marketing ServiceBenchmark EmailiContact Email Marketing ServiceConstant Contact Email ServicesConvertKit Email & Sales ServicesMailchimp Email ServiceActive Campaign Email ServicesOntraport Email & CRM ServicesMailJet Email ServiceSendinBlue Email Service
Value☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆
ModelContactContactContactContactContactContactContactContactContactContactEmailEmail
Free-TierNoNoNoYesNoNoNoYesNoNo6K/m - $09K/m - $0
#Contacts
500$7.49$12$19$12$12$17$25$15$9$7930K/m - $9.6540K/m - $25
2,500$15$20$29$29$27$38$41$50$39$14760K/m - $18.9560K/m - $39
10,000$39$60$69$74$67$81$100$99$111$297150K/m - $69120K/m - $67
25,000$112$150$149$150$127$191$166$219$179$497450K/m - $230350K/m - $173
50,0000$172$229$392$231$254$295$316$299$239$599=< 125K
Unlimited$2,999$99 per extra 100K
Cost per Contact (cents)0.390.650.690.740.670.81111.112.97NANA
Visit SendX ServicesVisit GetResponseVisit AWeber ServicesVisit BenchmarkVisit iContact ServicesVisit ConstantContactVisit ConvertKitVisit MailchimpVisit ActiveCampaignVisit OntraportVisit MailJet ServicesVisit SendinBlue

Unlike most email service providers, ConvertKit does not offer complicated tiers of service.  There is simply one service & price and this includes:

  • Email Marketing Automation
  • Unlimited Email Sends
  • Segmentation, Tagging, Autoresponders
  • Signup Forms, Email Templates & Stock Photos
  • Smart A/B Testing Integrated Into Automation Flow
  • 1-Click Unopen Resends
  • Multi-User Roles & Teams
  • Free Migrations Service for over 5,000 contacts.

Some Key Missing Innovations

  • Geo-location Timezone Delivery
  • Smart Delivery Based On User Open Patterns

Things to Know About ConvertKit’s Pricing

What I like about the ConvertKit pricing model is that it is simple and transparent.  There are no hidden charges, and they will even migrate you from another service provider free of charge, this is impressive.

ConvertKit Email Marketing & Automation Features

Like all of the services reviewed, ConvertKit offers a selection of pre-designed email templates and a good selection of high-quality images for use in your email campaigns.  The email design process is also fully drag-and-drop making crafting your message a breeze.

In fact, ConvertKit has a nice collection of newsletter templates and impressive 100,000 licensed images.  This will ensure your emails will look professional and unique.

ConvertKit Service Overview Video

ConvertKit Email Capture Forms

ConvertKit also a solid collection of pre-designed email capture forms which are fully customizable using a drag and drop interface. They also have a plugin for WordPress and Medium or alternatively a javascript embed code option.

I created a popup form in just a few minutes using the intuitive wizard which guides you through the process.  The forms application is more powerful than all the others I have tested.

The ability to endlessly customize the forms is nice.  Most common types of form are supported including full pages, slider, and exit intent.  Believe it or not, exit-intent forms are rarely included by the email marketing services providers, but ConvertKit includes it at no extra cost.

Most impressively of all, you can even customize your forms based on what the contact has already done in the past.  This means if they are a repeat visitor to your site, a member or even a customer who has already purchased a product, you can tailor a specific contextual message, just for them.

Visual Automations In ConvertKit

Most software providers offer Autoresponders, Email Sequencing, Drip Campaigns, Customer Tagging, and Segmentation.  ConvertKit provides all of these services included in the price.

But what truly separates ConvertKit from the crown is the visual automation application, which makes it easy to implement a customer journey through your processes.   Because automation, triggers actions, tagging and segmentation can get complex very quickly, the best approach to it is via visual representation of the processes.  What this video to see it in action.

Visual Automations Video

ConvertKit Reporting & Analytics

ConvertKit has a basic approach to reporting and analytics.  You will have the ability to analyze and improve your campaigns with reporting that allows you to compare open rates, undeliverable, unsubscribes clicks over time and more.  You can also seamlessly segment your list based on the responses or actions against your email.

[Related Post – Compare All Email Marketing Services Side By Side]

Of course, you can also see list growth, unsubscribes and even social shares.  Finally and importantly A/B Testing, the ability to test the email performance with different subject lines and content, is included in the service.

Visit ConvertKit for a Free 14 Day Trial

Advanced Email Features

Is ConvertKit Falling Behind On Machine Learning?

We are seeing a very strong trend in the industry towards machine learning to improve email services.  Take for example the excellent new innovations by GetResponse which  enables you to target each individual contact with an email delivered at the usual time they open emails, so if your contact reads their emails at 6:30 am weekdays, the email will be delivered then, so it is at the top of the inbox  You can also deliver the email at, for example, 9am in every timezone, it is called “Time Travel” by GetResponse. ActiveCampaign and SendX also have similar functionality.

So the answer is yes, at this price point I would expect ConvertKit to offer right time email deliverability & timezone specific deliverability.

Surprisingly, not all email newsletter providers offer this service.  To view the other vendors offering this service check out our Email Service Master Comparison Table.

One-Click Unopened Resends

ConvertKit does offer a send to unopened functionality.  This means that is you send a broadcast email, you will get the option to resend the mail to all the people who did not open the email the first time.  Unlike with other providers, ConvertKit restricts this to one resend per broadcast.

ConvertKit’s Features for Enterprise & Ecommerce

ConvertKit is clearly not aiming at enterprise customers or trying to replace a fully-fledged Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. Most email marketers do not really need this level of functionality. So if you are part of a larger team who need CRM you will want to consider GetResponseActiveCampaign or OntraportGetResponse has a great price point and the most complete set of features.

Multiple User Accounts & Collaboration

ConvertKit does, however, allow you to host multiple accounts to enable better workflow and collaboration in the marketing department.  You can add different accounts with different permissions.  Permissions are simple, you either have the administrator or contributor privileges.

Ease of Use & Customer Ratings

Using as many independent sources as possible we have rated the services provided.

Our rating on ease of use and design☆☆☆☆
Using the independent ratings from Trustpilot Users – we also filtered out obviously biased ratings.N/A
Customer Twitter Sentiment Index☆☆☆☆☆
Support (Chat, Email, Phone)Chat, Email
Support Times12/5
Response TimeDelayed
Average Ratings of Support Times, Response Times & Accessibility☆☆☆☆

ConvertKit’s levels of support do not justify it’s higher price point.  With support only via chat or email and service windows, 8 am to 8 pm Monday to Friday in the U.S. timezones. As a customer in Europe or Asia, you will need to wait until the afternoon or evening to get support.  The Twitter sentiment report was very good with plenty of customers happy with the service.  There were however no reasonable reviews on Trustpilot.

Free Migration Service

Finally, ConvertKit will migrate you from your current email newsletter service provider to ConvertKit for free.  One of the biggest problems is that when you have built your contact lists, funnels and automation with one company, the thought of moving to another provider is a headache of cost and effort.  The fact that ConvertKit provides this as a courtesy is impressive, but you must have a contact list of more than 5000 people to qualify.

ConvertKit Review Summary

ConvertKit excels in email deliverability and has all the core email marketing services you will need. It has an excellent automation visualization engine and built-in lead pages, which may well be worth the price premium they charge.  But do not expect any CRM functions or payment gateways, they have a set of integrations to cover that through Zapier.

[Related Post – Compare All Email Marketing Services Side By Side]


6. AWeber: Good for SMB’s & Startups Wanting Simple Automation, Tagging & Segmentation + Excellent Customer Service & Deliverability.

AWeber Email Marketing ServiceGreat Work Life Recommended

 

AWeber is one of the older and most mature email marketing services, first established in 1998.

AWeber’s focus on email deliverability, customer service, and basic marketing automation all at a great price point make it a solid choice for startups and small to medium businesses, but for eCommerce & Enterprises, it is surprisingly lacking.

 

AWeber Review SummaryLikesDislikes
★ Excellent Customer Satisfaction Ratings✘ No CRM
★ Excellent Email Deliverability✘ No Funnels
★ 700+ Email Templates✘ No Landing Pages
★ 6000+ Stock Photos✘ No Customer Journey
Visit AWeber★ 24/7 Phone & Chat Support
★ Good Automation, Segmentation & Tagging

 

AWeber Pricing

When it comes to pricing AWeber is there with the leaders.  They came third in our study.  The heatmap below shows their position relative to over service providers.

Competitor Pricing Table – All Email Marketing Services

Value RatingsSendX Email ServiceGet Response Email Marketing ServiceAWeber Email Marketing ServiceBenchmark EmailiContact Email Marketing ServiceConstant Contact Email ServicesConvertKit Email & Sales ServicesMailchimp Email ServiceActive Campaign Email ServicesOntraport Email & CRM ServicesMailJet Email ServiceSendinBlue Email Service
Value☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆
ModelContactContactContactContactContactContactContactContactContactContactEmailEmail
Free-TierNoNoNoYesNoNoNoYesNoNo6K/m - $09K/m - $0
#Contacts
500$7.49$12$19$12$12$17$25$15$9$7930K/m - $9.6540K/m - $25
2,500$15$20$29$29$27$38$41$50$39$14760K/m - $18.9560K/m - $39
10,000$39$60$69$74$67$81$100$99$111$297150K/m - $69120K/m - $67
25,000$112$150$149$150$127$191$166$219$179$497450K/m - $230350K/m - $173
50,0000$172$229$392$231$254$295$316$299$239$599=< 125K
Unlimited$2,999$99 per extra 100K
Cost per Contact (cents)0.390.650.690.740.670.81111.112.97NANA
Visit SendX ServicesVisit GetResponseVisit AWeber ServicesVisit BenchmarkVisit iContact ServicesVisit ConstantContactVisit ConvertKitVisit MailchimpVisit ActiveCampaignVisit OntraportVisit MailJet ServicesVisit SendinBlue

Unlike most email service providers, Aweber does not offer complicated tiers of service.  There is simply one service and  this includes:

  • Email Marketing Automation
  • Unlimited Email Sends
  • Segmentation, Tagging, Autoresponders
  • Signup Forms, Email Templates & Stock Photos
  • Email to RSS, Facebook & Twitter
  • 945 integrations to other platforms

Things to Know About AWebers Pricing

Surprisingly though there is an added analytics charge of $19 per month, but this is included in the prices shown on the website.

Also, another thing to note is that is you have multiple lists and you have the same contact on two of those lists you will be charged for 2 subscribers.  The pricing model is based on subscribers to lists not the number of unique contacts.  To ensure you do not have this duplication, maintain only one list per business and use tagging to separate your customers into different segments.

AWeber Email Marketing & Automation Features

Like all of the services reviewed, Aweber offers a selection of pre-designed email templates and a good selection of high-quality images for use in your email campaigns.  The email design process is also fully drag-and-drop making crafting your message a breeze.

In fact, AWeber has a huge collection with 700+ newsletter templates and 6,000+ licensed images, which will ensure your emails will look professional and unique.  They will also host your uploaded images.

AWeber also has the largest collection of pre-designed email capture forms with over 1,000 different designs which are also fully customizable. The types of form on offer are Inline, Pop-Over, Lightbox, and Pop-Up.  The only thing missing is an Exit Intent form.

Most software providers offer Autoresponders, Email Sequencing, Customer Tagging, and Segmentation.  What separates Aweber is the ease of implementation and the levels of automation available.  The video below will give you a good idea of how easy this process is.

AWeber Segmentation & Tagging Video

 

ScreenShot of How I Use AWeber Automation

AWeber Automation & AutoResponders
AWeber Automation & AutoResponders

Simple sequential automation and tag-based triggers are all covered in Aweber’s core service as you can see above.

Is AWeber Falling Behind On Machine Learning?

We are seeing a very strong trend in the industry towards machine learning to improve email services.  Take for example the excellent new innovations by GetResponse which  enables you to target each individual contact with an email delivered at the usual time they open emails, so if your contact reads their emails at 6:30 am weekdays, the email will be delivered then, so it is at the top of the inbox  You can also deliver the email at, for example 9am in every timezone, it is called “Time Travel” by GetResponse. ActiveCampaign and SendX also have similar functionality.

So the answer is yes, AWeber is falling behind in innovative uses of A.I. and machine learning.

AWeber Reporting & Analytics

AWeber has a solid set of basic reporting and analytics.  You will have the ability to analyze and improve your campaigns with reporting that allows you to compare open rates, undeliverable, unsubscribes clicks over time and more.  You can also seamlessly segment your list based on the responses or actions against your email.

It is also a breeze to list unsubscribes or undeliverables a swiftly remove the contact from your database using Bulk Delete.

However, to suggest AWeber have any kind of advanced reporting or analytics would be incorrect.  The reporting is very static and lacks the ability to configure even basic dates, for example, if you want to view performance over more than one year it is impossible.

AWebers Reporting & Statistic App
AWeber’s Reporting & Statistic App

AWeber is clearly aimed at small businesses, but as you grow, I am not sure this level of reporting will grow with you.  It may be something you are willing to accept in exchange for their low pricing and the simplicity of use.

[Related Post – Compare All Email Marketing Services Side By Side]

Visit AWeber

 

Advanced Email Features

AWeber RSS to Email

Email to RSS is a simple yet effective way to streamline the communication process with your audience.  You can set it up so that when you publish a new article on your website in a specific category the email service will be notified and can build a customized email and send it to your audience, without you having to do anything.  This is a huge timesaver.

Surprisingly, not all email newsletter providers offer this service.  To view the other vendors offering this service check out our Email Service Master Comparison Table.

Email to Facebook

As with the RSS function, you can quickly and effectively integrate the AWeber mailing engine into Facebook.  Any broadcast email you setup can with a single click also send an update to a Facebook page.

Email to Twitter

A nice addition is the ability to be able to send an automatic update to your twitter profile from a broadcast message.  It is these little process improvement that saves time and effort.

AWeber’s Lack of Advanced Features for Enterprise & Ecommerce

AWeber is clearly not aiming at enterprise customers.  There is no possibility to host multiple accounts to enable better workflow and collaboration in the marketing department.

There is also no mechanism for customer relationship management (CRM) or lead capture available.  So if you are part of a larger team you will want to consider GetResponseActiveCampaign or Ontraport.  GetResponse has a great price point and the most complete set of features.

One saving grace for AWeber here is the SalesForce.com integration.  SalesForce.com is the industry leader when it comes to CRM, so being able to integrate your marketing departments contact list to the Salesforce ecosystem can be critical for enterprise customers. AWeber has developed its own integrated service to enable the seamless passage of customer data, messaging, collaboration and messaging between the services.

Out of all tests, only 3 software vendors offer a fully integrated site chat function, AWeber is not one of them.

AWeber Has Serious Integrations

AWeber does not have native landing pages, payment processors or eCommerce functionality like our review winning GetResponse, but it does have a set of integrations that enable this functionality.

AWeber’s strategy is not to build a completely integrated solution themselves, but to build integrations to a huge network of 3rd parties.  This is the saving grace of AWeber, because with over 950 integrations you are guaranteed to have the ability to integrate with practically ever serious service out there.  In addition to that they have a Zapier integration which enables another 1,500 services.  So you can rest assures all the usual payment processors and eCommerce services are covered including:

  • Paypal
  • Stripe
  • Shopify
  • Square
  • WooCommerce

Ease of Use & Customer Ratings

Using as many independent sources as possible we have rated the services provided.

Our rating on ease of use and design☆☆☆☆
Using the independent ratings from Trustpilot Users – we also filtered out obviously biased ratings.☆☆☆☆
Customer Twitter Sentiment Index☆☆☆☆☆
Support (Chat, Email, Phone)Phone, Chat, Email
Support Times24/7
Response TimeImmediate
Average Ratings of Support Times, Response Times & Accessibility☆☆☆☆☆

 

AWeber scores highly in customer service and customer satisfaction.  Whatever problem you may be facing the talented and passionate support team is available instantly, the support service is easy to navigate and use.

AWeber Review Summary

AWeber offers a good core set of email marketing automation tools and what it does not provide natively is covered with a massive collection of 950+ integrations.  Its customers are extremely happy and are willing to pay a little more to get the highest levels of customer service and personal support.

Visit AWeber


 

Benchmark Email

7. Benchmark Email: Great for Startups Needing A Good Free Service for 2,000 contacts.  The Pro Service is Also Competitively Priced With Innovative Features.

California based Benchmark Email was established in 2004.  They offer a solid set of features for a competitive price.  Neither the price leader or the features leader, Benchmark occupies a place in the industry offering simplicity and value for money.

Benchmark Email Review SummaryLikesDislikes
★ Free Service for 2,000 contacts✘ Image Storage Costs $5/m
★ Easy to Use Automation Pro✘ Reports of Email Deliverability Issues
★ 24/7 Phone & Chat Support in 9 Languages
★ Good Twitter Sentiment Ratings
Visit Benchmark Email★ Easy Responsive Email Editor

 

Benchmark Email Pricing

When it comes to pricing Benchmark Email offers very good Free service which is better than MailChimp’s free service, why?

Standout Benchmark Email Free Features:

  • Up to 2,000 contact storage – capped at 14,000 emails per month
  • Drip Campaigns
  • RSS to Email
  • Click Heatmap Reports
  • Survey & Polls
  • Unlimited Video Hosting

Competitor Pricing Table – All Email Marketing Services

Value RatingsSendX Email ServiceGet Response Email Marketing ServiceAWeber Email Marketing ServiceBenchmark EmailiContact Email Marketing ServiceConstant Contact Email ServicesConvertKit Email & Sales ServicesMailchimp Email ServiceActive Campaign Email ServicesOntraport Email & CRM ServicesMailJet Email ServiceSendinBlue Email Service
Value☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆
ModelContactContactContactContactContactContactContactContactContactContactEmailEmail
Free-TierNoNoNoYesNoNoNoYesNoNo6K/m - $09K/m - $0
#Contacts
500$7.49$12$19$12$12$17$25$15$9$7930K/m - $9.6540K/m - $25
2,500$15$20$29$29$27$38$41$50$39$14760K/m - $18.9560K/m - $39
10,000$39$60$69$74$67$81$100$99$111$297150K/m - $69120K/m - $67
25,000$112$150$149$150$127$191$166$219$179$497450K/m - $230350K/m - $173
50,0000$172$229$392$231$254$295$316$299$239$599=< 125K
Unlimited$2,999$99 per extra 100K
Cost per Contact (cents)0.390.650.690.740.670.81111.112.97NANA
Visit SendX ServicesVisit GetResponseVisit AWeber ServicesVisit BenchmarkVisit iContact ServicesVisit ConstantContactVisit ConvertKitVisit MailchimpVisit ActiveCampaignVisit OntraportVisit MailJet ServicesVisit SendinBlue

Unlike most email service providers, Benchmark Email does not offer complicated tiers of service.  There is simply the Free service & the Pro service.

Things to Know About Benchmark Email’s Pricing

What I like about the Benchmark Email pricing model is that it is simple and transparent.  However, there are a few add on costs you need to be aware of:

  • On the Free/Basic package, you will need to pay $5 per month for more than 10mb of image storage.
  • The dedicated IP address to avoid any deliverability issues will cost $29 per month even on the PRO service
  • Although the emails are responsive, if you want to check your email formattings on multiple devices it is $14 for 100 tests

Benchmark Email Marketing Features

Like all of the services reviewed, Benchmark Email offers a selection of pre-designed email templates and a good selection of high-quality images for use in your email campaigns.  The email design process is also fully drag-and-drop making crafting your message a breeze.

In fact, Benchmark Email has a collection reasonable of newsletter templates but unlike many of its competitors, it does not offer a large selection of licensed images, you will have to source your own, which can be costly and time-consuming.

Benchmark Email Service Overview Video


Start a Free Plan

Benchmark Email Key Features

Highlights of the Benchmark Email Pro Service:

  • Email Marketing Automation
  • Unlimited Email Sends
  • Segmentation, Tagging, Autoresponders, Drip Campaigns
  • Automated Customer Journey Funnels
  • Facebook Audiences Integration
  • CRM Integration
  • Events Management
  • Polling & Surveys

Benchmark Email Capture Forms

Benchmark Email also a solid collection of pre-designed email capture forms which are fully customizable using a drag and drop interface. They also have a plugin for WordPress and alternatively a javascript embed code option.

I created a popup form in just a few minutes using the intuitive wizard which guides you through the process.  What is also nice is that Benchmark will also include landing pages is you do not have a website of your own.

Benchmark Survey & Polls

 

Unopened Resends

Again the simple approach to design and functionality adopted by Benchmark Email means you can easily resend an email to contacts who did not open the original email by changing the title/subject line and resubmitting.

Benchmark RSS to Email

Email to RSS is a simple yet effective way to streamline the communication process with your audience.  You can set it up so that when you publish a new article on your website in a specific category the email service will be notified and can build a customized email and send it to your audience, without you having to do anything.  This is a huge timesaver.

Email to Facebook

As with the RSS function, you can quickly and effectively integrate the Benchmark mailing engine into Facebook.  Any broadcast email you setup can with a single click also send an update to a Facebook page.

Email to Twitter

A nice addition is the ability to be able to send an automatic update to your twitter profile from a broadcast message.  It is these little process improvement that saves time and effort.

Benchmark Marketing Automation

Most software providers offer Autoresponders, Email Sequencing/ Drip Campaigns, Customer Tagging, and Segmentation. Benchmark Email provides all of these services included in the price.  The automation is very simple and very visual, which means you can really see a customers journey through the process.  Take a quick look in the video below.

Benchmark Automation PRO Video

Benchmark Targeted List

Benchmark offers a very slick way to target your audience based on their past actions.  For example, you can simply select previous emails and focus in on those people who clicked a specific set of links and within seconds you can create a followup email which is targeted to only people who showed an interest in previous emails campaigns.  Watch the video below to see how it works

[Related article: The In-Depth Benchmark Email Test & Review]

Benchmark Email Reporting & Analytics

Benchmark Email Reporting - By Geography
Benchmark Email Reporting – By Geography

Benchmark Email has a great set of reporting and analytics.  You will have the ability to analyze and improve your campaigns with reporting that allows you to compare open rates, undeliverable, unsubscribes clicks over time and more.

You can also seamlessly segment your list based on the responses or actions against your email.

They even have a nice way of reporting the social activity an email generates, this is somewhat unique to Benchmark.

Benchmark Email Reporting - Social Sharing
Benchmark Email Reporting – Social Sharing- Screenshot

Click Heatmap For Email & Landing Pages

In addition to the already solid set of features is the ability to visualize what links in any given email are clicked the most.  The Click heatmap is very valuable, and when used in conjunction with A/B testing it can improve the effectiveness of your email campaigns.

Visit Benchmark Email for a Free 14 Day Trial

 

Advanced Email Features

A/B Testing With Benchmark Email

I really like the way Benchmark Email has integrated A/B testing for emails.  As you are getting ready to send a mail, you can simply select the advanced features to unlock A/B Testing.

Benchmark - Intelligent Subject Line AB Testing Automation - Screenshot
Benchmark – Intelligent Subject Line AB Testing Automation – Screenshot

The fantastic way in which this is implemented means you can:

  1. select and create multiple subject lines
  2. then select that you want to send the different titles to 10% of your list
  3. finally, based on those results, send the best subject titles to the remainder of the list 6 hours later.

Very clever and something I have not seen in other email software.

Benchmark Event Management

Although Benchmark does not have a specific Webinar hosting system, they do have an excellent integrated live event management service.

Benchmark Events Video

Highlight Features From The Benchmark Events Technology

  • Facebook Event Integration
  • Paypal Integration
  • Landing Pages Included
  • Event Links
  • Ticket Sales Widgets available
  • Tracking attendees and followup emails
  • App for scanning attendees tickets on entering the event

Benchmark Email’s Features for Enterprise & Ecommerce

Benchmark Email is also taking aim at SMB customers by offering a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. Most small email marketers do not really need this level of functionality. But if you are part of a larger team who need CRM you will want to consider GetResponseActiveCampaign or Ontraport. GetResponse has a great price point and the most complete set of features.  However, Benchmark does have some enterprise functionality, read on…

Multiple User Accounts & Collaboration

Benchmark Email does, however, allow you to host multiple accounts to enable better workflow and collaboration in the marketing department.  You can add different accounts with different permissions.  Permissions are simple, you either have the administrator or contributor privileges.

Benchmark CRM

Benchmark Email also has a CRM service, it is not really enterprise-ready but has some nice features like the ability to track all user actions and the ability to work directly with Gmail (via a plugin) that allows you to tag leads directly from your inbox.

Ease of Use & Customer Ratings

Using as many independent sources as possible we have rated the services provided.

Our rating on ease of use and design☆☆☆☆
Using the independent ratings from Trustpilot Users – we also filtered out obviously biased ratings.N/A
Customer Twitter Sentiment Index☆☆☆☆☆
Support (Chat, Email, Phone)Phone, Chat, Email
Support Times24/7
Response TimeImmediate
Average Ratings of Support Times, Response Times & Accessibility☆☆☆☆☆

 

Benchmark Email scores highly in customer service and customer satisfaction.  Whatever problem you may be facing the talented and passionate support team is available instantly, the support service is easy to navigate and use.

Benchmark Email Review Summary

Benchmark Email has a strong portfolio of tools including effective visual automation, smooth A/B testing and good analytics.  Social integrations to Facebook, Twitter, and even LinkedIn & Slack show a well-rounded product feature set.  A reasonable CRM for small business is also included.  Starting at Free for up to 2,000 contacts, but even the Pro service is very competitively priced and well worth considering.

Visit Benchmark


 

8. iContact: Best For Larger Businesses Needing Superior Personal Customer Services, Solid Automation & Salesforce Integration

iContact Email Marketing Service

North Carolina based iContact was established in 2003 and have grown to be a leading service for medium to large size businesses.  While their price model is competitive for small businesses also, some of their features unlock enterprise-level benefits, but there are many features missing compared to their competitors.

iContact Review SummaryLikesDislikes
★ Personal Customer Success Manager for All Paid Accounts✘ No CRM
★ Easy to Use Basic Automation✘ No Timezone or User Timing Delivery
★ 24/7 U.S. Phone & Chat Support
★ Salesforce Mass Email
Visit iContact★ Getty Images Included

 

iContact Pricing

When it comes to pricing iContact is reasonably priced, but you need to balance that against the features on offer

Unlike most email service providers, iContact does not offer complicated tiers of service.  There is simply the Pro service.

iContact Email Marketing Features

iContact has a good collection of newsletter templates and hundreds of high-quality Getty licensed images. This should ensure your emails will look professional and unique.

iContact Capture Forms

iContact also a solid collection of pre-designed email capture forms which are fully customizable using a drag and drop interface. They also have a plugin for WordPress and alternatively a javascript embed code option.

You can also support your capture forms with landing pages hosted by iContact.

iContact Pro Landing Pages Video

Unopened Resends

Again the simple approach to design and functionality adopted by iContact means you can easily resend an email to contacts who did not open the original email by changing the title/subject line and resubmitting.

Email to Facebook, LinkedIn & Twitter

You can quickly and effectively integrate the Benchmark mailing engine into Facebook.  Any broadcast email you setup can with a single click also send an update to a Facebook page your twitter profile or LinkedIn from a broadcast message.  It is these little process improvements that save time and effort.

iContact Marketing Automation

Most software providers offer Autoresponders, Email Sequencing, Drip Campaigns, Customer Tagging, and Segmentation. iContact provides all of these services included in the price.  However, the scale of the automation engine cannot compare presently with GetResponse or Active Campaign. Take a quick look in the video below.

iContact Reporting & Analytics

iContact has a good set of reporting and analytics.  You will have the ability to analyze and improve your campaigns with reporting that allows you to compare open rates, undeliverable, unsubscribes clicks over time and more.

You can also seamlessly segment your list based on the responses or actions against your email.  They also have a nice way of reporting the social activity an email generates.

Click Reporting For Email & Landing Pages

In addition to the already solid set of features is the ability to visualize what links in any given email are clicked the most.  The Click heatmap is very valuable, and when used in conjunction with A/B testing it can improve the effectiveness of your email campaigns.

[Related Post – Compare All Email Marketing Services Side By Side]

Of course, you can also see list growth, unsubscribes and even social shares.  Finally and importantly A/B Testing, the ability to test the email performance with different subject lines and content, is included in the service.

Visit iContact for a Free 30 Day Trial

 

iContact’s Features for Enterprise & Ecommerce

iContact is also taking aim at larger enterprise customers by offering a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. Most small email marketers do not really need this level of functionality. But if you are part of a larger team who need CRM you will want to consider GetResponseActiveCampaign or Ontraport. GetResponse has a great price point and the most complete set of features.  However, iContact does have some enterprise functionality, read on…

Multiple User Accounts & Collaboration

iContact does, however, allow you to host multiple accounts to enable better workflow and collaboration in the marketing/sales department.  You can add different accounts with different permissions.

iContact CRM

iContact also has a CRM service, it is not really enterprise-ready but has some nice features like the ability to track all user actions and the ability to work directly with Gmail (via a plugin) that allows you to tag leads directly from your inbox.

Ease of Use & Customer Ratings

Using as many independent sources as possible we have rated the services provided.

Our rating on ease of use and design☆☆☆☆
Using the independent ratings from Trustpilot Users – we also filtered out obviously biased ratings.N/A
Customer Twitter Sentiment Index☆☆☆☆☆
Support (Chat, Email, Phone)Phone, Chat, Email
Support Times24/7
Response TimeImmediate
Average Ratings of Support Times, Response Times & Accessibility☆☆☆☆☆

 

iContact scores highly in customer service and customer satisfaction.  Whatever problem you may be facing the talented and passionate support team is available instantly, the support service is easy to navigate and use.

iContact Professional Services

There is a selection of services that are included with the special plans that iContact offer.  Two key plans are the Mass Sender Plan and also a Premier service.

The Mass Sender Plan includes a dedicated strategic advisor for your account and also custom made graphic designed email templates to match your company branding.

Premier accounts also include a strategic advisor dedicated report development to match your business reporting needs.

Also at an additional cost, Email Delivery Advisors are available for lists above 35,000 contacts and other development services such as template creation, repair and sign up form design.

iContact Review Summary

iContact is neither the most expensive service nor the best value for money.  It has a portfolio that covers email marketing and basic automation but lacks the innovation in machine learning, intelligent send, and visual auto-funnels.  The CRM is OK but does not include tracking the customer’s cross-platform journey.  It is a reasonable price, for a reasonable set of services.  As an enterprise customer it is good value, with Salesforce integration, but lacking cutting edge features.

Visit iContact for a Free 30 Day Trial


9. ConstantContact: Midrange Features, Automation, Landing Pages & Facebook Lead Aquisition, But Also a Middle Price Point!

Constant Contact Email Services

ConstantContact’s email deliverability and simple marketing automation wrapped up in a  slick interface make it a solid service offering with many happy customers.  But with a significantly higher price point and fewer features than other competitors, are they a good choice for you?

ConstantContact Review SummaryLikesDislikes
★ Polling & Surveys✘ Pricing
★ Segmentation, Tagging & Broadcasts✘ Standard Features with Premium Pricing
★ Facebook & Instagram Lead Integration✘ Too Many Pay For Integrations
★ Landing Pages Included
Visit ConstantContact★ Auto Resend to No-Openers

 

ConstantContact Pricing

When it comes to pricing ConstantContact is in 6th place of the 11 vendors in the table below. So they are definitely nowhere near the best price points, but their service is targeted at start-ups and small business.  For me targeting new businesses should mean you offer a lower pricepoint especially at the under 10,000 subscribers rage.  ConstantContact charge 0.81c per contact every month (on a yearly contract), compare that to SendX who charge 0.39 cents per contact.

Competitor Pricing Table – All Email Marketing Services

Value RatingsSendX Email ServiceGet Response Email Marketing ServiceAWeber Email Marketing ServiceBenchmark EmailiContact Email Marketing ServiceConstant Contact Email ServicesConvertKit Email & Sales ServicesMailchimp Email ServiceActive Campaign Email ServicesOntraport Email & CRM ServicesMailJet Email ServiceSendinBlue Email Service
Value☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆
ModelContactContactContactContactContactContactContactContactContactContactEmailEmail
Free-TierNoNoNoYesNoNoNoYesNoNo6K/m - $09K/m - $0
#Contacts
500$7.49$12$19$12$12$17$25$15$9$7930K/m - $9.6540K/m - $25
2,500$15$20$29$29$27$38$41$50$39$14760K/m - $18.9560K/m - $39
10,000$39$60$69$74$67$81$100$99$111$297150K/m - $69120K/m - $67
25,000$112$150$149$150$127$191$166$219$179$497450K/m - $230350K/m - $173
50,0000$172$229$392$231$254$295$316$299$239$599=< 125K
Unlimited$2,999$99 per extra 100K
Cost per Contact (cents)0.390.650.690.740.670.81111.112.97NANA
Visit SendX ServicesVisit GetResponseVisit AWeber ServicesVisit BenchmarkVisit iContact ServicesVisit ConstantContactVisit ConvertKitVisit MailchimpVisit ActiveCampaignVisit OntraportVisit MailJet ServicesVisit SendinBlue

ConstantContact offers 2 tiers of pricing, EMAIL & EMAIL PLUS.  The prices above are for the basic EMAIL package.  The BASIC package is very limited compared to that of the price leaders GetResponse, ActiveCampaign, and SendX.

Important features missing from the ConstantContact basic package.

  • Multiple Popup Forms
  • Automated Welcome Email Series
  • Segmentation, Tagging, Autoresponders
  • A/B Testing
  • Automation & Personalizable Content

Some Key Missing Innovations In The EMAIL Plus Package

  • Geo-location Timezone Delivery
  • Smart Delivery Based On User Open Patterns
  • CRM Services
  • Payment Gateways

Visual Automations In ConstantContact

Most software providers offer Autoresponders, Email Sequencing, Drip Campaigns, Customer Tagging, and Segmentation.  ConstantContact provides all of these services included in the price.

But what truly separates ConstantContact from the crown is the visual automation application, which makes it easy to implement a customer journey through your processes.   Because automation, triggers actions, tagging and segmentation can get complex very quickly, the best approach to it is via visual representation of the processes.  What this video to see it in action.

[Related Article: Constant Contact In-Depth Review & Test]

ConstantContact Reporting & Analytics

ConstantContact has a basic approach to reporting and analytics.  You will have the ability to analyze and improve your campaigns with reporting that allows you to compare open rates, undeliverable, unsubscribes clicks over time and more.  Use can also seamlessly segment your list based on the responses or actions against your email.

Visit ConstantContact for a Free 60 Day Trial

 

Advanced Email Features

Special Constant Contact Features – EMAIL Plus Tier

Constant Contact Special Features
Constant Contact Special Features

What I do like about the special feature set in Email Plus, is that you have included:

  • Survey & Polls – are integrated natively and easy to use
  • You can easily set up and collect donations
  • Eventbrite Webinar Integration

However, these features are hardly unique and are available with GetResponseActiveCampaign or Ontraport.

ConstantContact’s Features for Enterprise & Ecommerce

ConstantContact is clearly not aiming at enterprise customers or trying to replace a fully-fledged Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. Most email marketers do not really need this level of functionality. So if you are part of a larger team who need CRM you will want to consider GetResponseActiveCampaign or Ontraport. GetResponse has a great price point and the most complete set of features.  ConstantContact does, however, allow you to host multiple accounts to enable better workflow and collaboration in the marketing department.  You can add different accounts with different permissions.

ConstantContact Integrations

ConstantContact does not have native payment processors or eCommerce functionality like GetResponse, but it does have a huge set of powerful integrations that enable this functionality.  There are 460+ integrations but many of them will cost extra, this is unlike almost all other marketing software services, who do not charge.

Ease of Use & Customer Ratings

Using as many independent sources as possible we have rated the services provided.

Our rating on ease of use and design☆☆☆☆
Using the independent ratings from Trustpilot Users – we also filtered out obviously biased ratings.☆☆☆☆
Customer Twitter Sentiment Index☆☆☆☆☆
Support (Chat, Email, Phone)Phone, Chat, Email
Support Times14/5
Response TimeImmediate
Average Ratings of Support Times, Response Times & Accessibility☆☆☆☆

 

Constant Contact does have a band of loyal followers, with great ratings on Trustpilot and Twitter.  Support times and response times are solid with a very helpful support team.  Their selection of tutorial videos in the help center is excellent and will help you achieve most of what you want.  In our How to Choose The Best Marketing Software article, there were many small business owners who liked constant contact.

ConstantContact Review Summary

ConstantContact excels in email deliverability and has many of the core email marketing services you will need as a small business. But those core features require the Email Plus service tier, and at this price point, it is missing some key features like time zone & smart deliverability based on user open times. Do not expect any meaningful CRM functions or payment gateways, but they do have a large set of “pay-for” integrations.


10. MailChimp: An industry leader, falling behind on system stability, value for money and customer satisfaction.

mailchimp logo

MailChimp is one of the older email marketing services and since its launch in 2001, it made great strides in gaining small business customers across the digital marketing industry.  It became one of the email newsletter behemoths.  As you can see from our article on choosing the best email software many entrepreneurs still use MailChimp.  But during the thousands of hours of researching and testing email marketing services, we have found MailChimp’s service to be lacking.

MailChimp Review SummaryLikesDislikes
★ Facebook & Instagram Adverts Integrated✘ Customer Satisfaction
★ RSS to Email✘ Pricing
★ Email Updated to Facebook✘ Trustpilot Ratings
★ Abandoned Shopping Cart Followup✘ Limited Features
Visit Mailchimp★ Customer Specific Delivery Times
★ Time Zone Delivery Times

 

MailChimp Pricing

In the case of MailChimp, we had to select their second most expensive tier “Standard” for a good feature comparison with over email marketing services. Their pricing means for up to 10,000 contacts, you will pay 1ct per month.  This is 3 times the price of SendX and 50% more than GetResponse.

To their credit, they do have a free tier of service which will store up to 2,000 contacts and although the email templates and forms will have MailChimp branding, you will have access to the Facebook and Instagram lead generation tools.

MailChimp does offer 4 levels of service, but the Standard service will be the one to opt for if you want any kind of meaningful automation.  It includes:

  • Email Marketing Automation
  • Unlimited Email Sends
  • Segmentation, Tagging, Autoresponders
  • Signup Forms, Email Templates & Stock Photos
  • Email to RSS, Facebook & Twitter
  • 200+ integrations to other platforms

Things to Know About Mailchimps Pricing

Surprisingly, MailChimp is far from being a price leader and despite the fact it can seem expensive as the Standard service does not even include phone support.  For that, you have to go to the Premium service which is significantly more expensive.

Marketing & Automation Features

MailChimp also has pre-designed email capture forms which are also fully customizable. The types of form on offer are Inline, Pop-Over, Lightbox, and Pop-Up.  The only thing missing is an Exit Intent form.

Most software providers offer Autoresponders, Email Sequencing, Customer Tagging, and Segmentation.  Mailchimp’s implementation of automation is quite basic, similar in fact to AWeber and when compared to GetResponse or ActiveCampaigns slick automation visualizations, it is way behind.

Top of Inbox Delivery Timing?

We are seeing a very strong trend in the industry towards machine learning to improve email services.  Take for example the Top of Inbox Delivery which  enables you to target each individual contact with an email delivered at the usual time they open emails, so if your contact reads their emails at 6:30 am weekdays, the email will be delivered then, so it is at the top of the inbox  You can also deliver the email at, for example, 9am in every timezone

MailChimp Timewarp Delivery – Nicely Implemented

MailChimp TimeWarp Delivery
MailChimp TimeWarp Delivery

Other vendors also offer this functionality, it is called “Time Travel” by GetResponse. ActiveCampaign and SendX also have similar functionality.

Facebook & Instagram Lead Generation

I do like the fact that even on the Free tier of service you do get access to a premium feature, the Facebook & Instagram Lead Capture.  This allows you to schedule campaigns directly from MailChimp to target potential customers interested in your products.

MailChimp Facebook & Instagram Lead Capture
MailChimp Facebook & Instagram Lead Capture

MailChimp Reporting & Analytics

MailChimp has a solid set of basic reporting and analytics.  You will have the ability to analyze and improve your campaigns with reporting that allows you to compare open rates, undeliverable, unsubscribes clicks over time and more.  You can also seamlessly segment your list based on the responses or actions against your email.

It is also a breeze to list unsubscribes or undeliverables a swiftly remove the contact from your database using Bulk Delete.

However, to suggest Mailchimp have any kind of advanced reporting or analytics would be incorrect.  The reporting is very static and lacks the ability to configure even basic dates, for example, if you want to view performance over more than one year it is impossible.

Mailchimp is clearly aimed at small businesses, but as you grow, I am not sure this level of reporting will grow with you.  It may be something you are willing to accept in exchange for their low pricing and the simplicity of use.

[Related Post – Compare All Email Marketing Services Side By Side]

Mailchimp’s Lack of Advanced Features for Enterprise & Ecommerce

MailChimp is clearly not aiming at enterprise customers.  There is some limited possibility to host multiple accounts to enable better workflow and collaboration in the marketing department.

There is also no mechanism for customer relationship management (CRM).  So if you are part of a larger team you will want to consider ActiveCampaign or OntraportGetResponse, has a great price point and the most complete set of features.

Out of all tests, only 3 software vendors offer a fully integrated site chat function, Mailchimp is not one of them.

Ease of Use & Customer Ratings

Using as many independent sources as possible we have rated the services provided.

Our rating on ease of use and design☆☆☆
Using the independent ratings from Trustpilot Users – we also filtered out obviously biased ratings.
Customer Twitter Sentiment Index☆☆
Support (Chat, Email, Phone)Chat, Email
Support Times24/7
Response TimeDelayed
Average Ratings of Support Times, Response Times & Accessibility

MailChimp has recently raised their prices, which does not impress its customers, but the biggest issues are the levels of customer service and the technical issues with the service availability.

Take a look and the Twitter Sentiment (type MailChimp into the query box) and you can see the negativity and tweets categorized.  You can also look at the Trustpilot scores for MailChimp with 55% of its own customers rating it Bad.

MailChimp Review Summary

MailChimp offers a free service to host up to 2,000 contacts, which is unique and good for startups with $0 budget.  But MailChimp is also suffering a host of problems, with unhappy customers, a high price to features ratio and system availability technical issues. With crushing Trustpilot ratings can MailChimp pull through?

Summary – Top 10 Best Email Marketing Tools

Our results show that GetResponse, Ontraport & ActiveCampaign are clearly best of breed winners, showing innovation, a fantastic suite of tools and great value for money. If you simply want Email marketing & automation at the best price then SendX is the winner.

Barry's 25 years of experience with Silicon Valley Corporations such as IBM, Compaq, Hewlett Packard, Hewlett Packard Enterprise & DXC Technology enables him to share his knowledge of succeeding in today's professional corporate environments and develop a great work life for yourself.

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