Choosing the best email service provider for you is
rarely never an easy decision.
Why? Because you have to deal with questions like:
- “Does it have the features I want? “
- “How is the support?”
- “Does it integrate with fill in the blank]”?
…plus a million other things to consider…all at once.
I remember being overwhelmed when I first got started with email marketing, hell even my most recent email service switch was intimidating. It’s a big decision that can have a REAL impact on your bottom line…
That’s why I created this guide. So you don’t get stuck like I did and (hopefully). I want you to have all the information you need to pick the perfect email email service provider (ESP) for you.
Let’s dive in…
The Ultimate Guide To The Top Email Marketing Services
Mailchimp is currently the most popular email marketing service provider.
I consider it one of the best, if not THE BEST ESP for newbies because if it’s easy-to-navigate interface, awesome tools and amazing support.
One of my favorite benefits of Mailchimp is the fact it integrates with virtually every marketing online marketing platform you can think of:
- Facebook/Instagram Ads
Just to name a few.
The free plan is a perfect way to get your feet wet with email marketing before moving on to more advanced features.
Mailchimp has a free plan that allows you to send 12,000 emails to up to 2000 subscribers at no cost. However, this free plan does not offer automation or advanced segmentation.
Their paid plans start at just $10/ month, making this by far the most affordable email marketing service provider.
Ease of use
In addition to being low cost, Mail-chimp is one of the most beginner-friendly ESPs on the market.
The dashboard is incredibly easy to understand. It’s reports clearly show you how well you connect with your audience and even include customized tips for improvement.
Facebook/Instagram Ads – Create targeted Facebook & Instagram ads based on your current subscribers, then find new customers…all inside Mailchimp!
Email Templates – Choose from dozens of professionally designed mobile-responsive email templates so your brand stands out in the inbox.
Abandoned Cart Campaigns- 67% of online shopping carts are abandoned before the customer completes a sale. Integrate mailchimp with your ecommerce platform and remind those people to buy… on autopilot
Send Time Optimization– Eliminate the guesswork in when you should email. This feature allows Mailchimp to pinpoint the best time to send your email to subscribers in different countries and timezones.
Users can get support via email, live chat or by diving into the massive knowledge base filed with How-tos, videos and tutorials.
If you are new to email marketing or you use an ecommerce platform like Shopify, then you will probably love Mailchimp.
Aweber was founded nearly 20 years ago making it one of the oldest and most trusted brands in email marketing.
It’s used by over 120,000 online entrepreneurs worldwide and remains one of the best ESPs on the market. This was my email service provider up until a few months ago. This was after being a loyal customer for YEARS.
Keep reading to find out why…
Aweber is designed to grow with you as an entrepreneur.
It offers a free 30-day trial for lists up to 500 subscribers (this includes ALL it’s features so you can get the full experience)
After that, you can use any of the following options:
Ease of use
Aweber is extremely easy to use with a very straightforward dashboard. In fact, the moment you login to your account for the 1st time, a tutorial video will autoplay and show you how to quickly set up and use your account.
From there you can find a wealth of ebooks, webinars and videos to help you get the most from email marketing.
Here are a few free training tools they offer.
Autoresponders – Send automated email campaigns based on list segment or actions your subscribers take. Perfect for onboarding new customers or sending “email courses”
List Segmentation- Divide & conquer your list by DOB, location, interest, activity, sign up form used & more. The best way to send relevant emails to the RIGHT people
Split Testing– Send different versions of the same email to a small portion your list to see which one performs the best. Then send the winner to everyone else!
Blog Broadcasts – Automatically email your list every time you update your blog instead of manually broadcasting it yourself
One of the reasons I stayed with Aweber so long is because of it’s tremendous support.
“Customer support that’ll knock your socks off.”
Is one of their catch phrases and it’s damn accurate.
The support team is super fast, friendly and helpful via email, phone and live chat. They are also hyper active on social media…which means you will ever get stuck.
By far, Aweber is the most well rounded ESP on the market because it offers a little bit of everything. It’s extremely competitive in pricing, automation and features and more.
Ahh…the new kid on the block. And my current email service provider.
Even though Drip is one of the newest email marketing service providers it’s rapidly building a reputation as one of the most advanced and user-friendly platforms on the market.
You’re about to discover exactly why I left Aweber and switched over to Drip…and why I consider it “Email Marketing on Steroids”
Drip offers a free trial with list size based pricing.
If you have a small list, one of the best parts about Drip is they offer a FREE account you can use until your list grows past 100.
Ease Of Use
Let me start by saying this. Drip isn’t newbie friendly.
However, if you already understand the basics of email marketing and automation, you will love it.
If you know what you’re doing, Drip makes everything you WANT to do incredibly simple.
The visual campaign builder makes it brain dead simple to layout and test your email strategies. It’s reports are simple to read and the Dashboard i very straightforward.
Plus it has a deep resource library as well.
Advanced Automation – Easily tag subscribers based on action they take on your website then send laser-targeted broadcasts.
Visual Editor – Create an unstoppable email marketing machine. If you can draw it on a napkin you can create it in Drip.
One-Subscriber, One List– Eliminates the risk of subscribers getting the same email multiple times. A major headache with other ESPs
Advanced Event Tracking -Track every time your subscribers click a link, buy a product, or most other major events. Drip automatically tags them for future mailings.
Built In Pop Ups and Forms – Grow your email list with Drips built in lead capture tools. Super easy to use and super powerful.
I’ve had a great experience with Drip so far. You can use the contact form to get rapid responses for every question. They are also active on social media which is always a plus.
They also have a library of resources you can access at anytime.
I switched over to Drip from Aweber because of the advanced automation options plus the built in “pop up and form feature” (whic is working GREAT for me).
My experience using Drip so far has been tremendous and they earn the money I send them every month. That’s about as bottom line as it gets.
Find out what the hype is all about yourself by clicking the button below.
Active campaign has been around for over 10 years and is considered a pioneer in email automation
It offers enterprise class marketing tools at incredibly affordable rates.
You can automate email delivery based on subscriber interaction and purchase. User interactions can include a wide range of things including clicks on email, pages visited on your website, purchases, etc.
ActiveCampaign is ideal for mid to small sized businesses, marketers, entrepreneurs and freelancers.
Active Campaign has affordable prices that scale with the features you need instead of the size of your list.
If you’re building an email list and need a CRM, or you have a sales team, Active Campaign is the “sweet spot” for you.
Ease of Use
The first thing that you notice when you start using ActiveCampaign is how well-designed and intuitive the user interface is. It’s one of the only marketing automation tools that I’ve come across that needs practically no training to understand.
Plus, it has a solid library of content and resources to help you learn how to do what you want.
Helpful pointers – Forget to set a time delay between two steps, or define an outcome for a conditional event? ActiveCampaign notifies you so your email workflows always run smoothly.
Best value pricing – The majority of small business, don’t want to commit to paying thousands of dollars per year for marketing automation. This ESP provides massive power for minimal cost
Email Templates – rapidly create gorgeous emails with tested email templates
Zapier Integration – Unlock 150 different marketing & sales tools via Zapier integration. While this enables you to connect ActiveCampaign with a huge variety of tools, you will need a paid Zapier subscription to access certain integrations.
CRM and Sales Automation– Manage your sales, customer database and email marketing in one simple to understand place.
Active Campaign offers chat, email, phone support and even 1-on-1 training for every package larger than lite. This is incredibly helpful, especially when setting up sales and marketing automation.
When you factor in affordable pricing, enterprise level features and game-changing support it’s easy to see why Active campaign is one of the most popular email marketing services.’
When you factor in affordable pricing, enterprise level features and game-changing support it’s easy to see why Active campaign is one of the most popular email marketing services.
It ain’t for the faint of heart…
…But in my opinion, Infusionsoft is the most powerful all-in-one marketing system on the planet.
Infusionsoft is ideal for small business up to 100 employees. Warning, it’s not designed for wantrepreneurs, newbies for solopreneurs at all. You will see why when you check out the pricing…
IF you can afford it? The sky’s the limit with built in payment processing, email automation and a world-class community.
Let’s just say this. Infusionsoft ain’t cheap.
You have the standard monthly price tag which is way more expensive than any other ESP on this list.
Plus a one time Kickstart fee for onboarding…
That’s why I only recommend Infusionsoft for established business with consistent monthly income 1K or higher.
Ease of Use
Infusionsoft’s biggest weakness is it’s steep learning curve. There is a reason you pay so much for on-boarding and even afterwards you will still find yourself diving into its massive training library.
This is an All-in-one marketing automation solution. And it handles like one. The power is unrivaled, but you have to learn how to unlock it…which takes a while
24/7 Support –With a system as complicated as Infusionsoft this feature is a sanity saver. You will never get stuck because you have a support team that never sleeps.
Campaign Builder – this remarkable visual builder makes it easy to translate sales funnels, automation tasks and emails from your mind map (or napkin)… to reality.
Email Templates -You are only a few clicks away from clean, professional email templates that will set you apart in the inbox
Community – Infusionsoft is known across the globe for its tight knit group of users and developers. They have online forums and local get togethers for connecting and brainstorming
Shopping Cart Integration – Infusionsoft is built for payment processing and eCommerce. This makes promo codes, abandoned cart campaigns and buyer segmentation incredibly simple…and outrageously effective
Between 24/7 live support, global community and local opportunities Infusionsoft has the best support of all the ESPs.
It’s not even close.
If you can get past the steep cost and high learning curve, it’s pretty clear to see how powerful Infusionsoft is and WHY it must be looked at as an all-in-one solution for email marketing, online product management and eCommerce.
Then, when you factor in the amazing community and support into the equation it should be obvious why so many small businesses swear by this provider.
After working with each of these ESPs at some point over the last few years I decided to go with Drip. That’s because it hits the automation and strategy intersection I want right now and I love it.
I weighed out my options, paying attention to everything you see above. Then, I went with my gut and i’m super happy I did.
So ask yourself:
“What features DO I NEED RIGHT NOW”.
“Which provider will give me what I really need right now, while staying in my budget?”
Now go with your gut. Worst case you switch later (like I did) and just move your subscriber list over.
In other words, there is no reason to drag your feet. Whether you’re just getting started or considering a change, now you have everything you need
Make your next move…