Choosing the right email marketing software is an important step toward reaching your marketing goals. But there are so many different options that it’s not always easy to know which tools will work best for your company.
This guide is here to help. It covers our top picks for the best email marketing software of 2023 while also highlighting how to get more out of whatever platform you choose. Read on to learn more.
Our top picks for the best email marketing software of 2023
- Mailchimp: Best for Small Business
- Drip: Best for E-commerce
- Brevo: Best for B2B
- ActiveCampaign: Best for Automation
- Constant Contact: Best for Beginners
- Moosend: Best for Value
- HubSpot: Best All-in-one Email Marketing Tool
- Campaigner: Best for Experienced Marketers
Best Email Marketing Software Reviews
- Free forever plan option and flexible pay-as-you-go pricing available
- Allows you to import your own email templates
- Integrated performance tracking
- Can act as an all-in-one digital marketing platform
- Low send limits
- Costs will rise rapidly as your program grows
Why we chose it: Mailchimp is an inexpensive, highly flexible email marketing platform for startups and very small businesses.
For very small operations, Mailchimp offers a free-forever email marketing plan that allows you to send up to 1,000 messages (that is, emails sent times the number of subscribers on your list) to up to 500 subscribers. In addition to email marketing software, it offers a customer relationship management platform (CRM), marketing automation tools and creative tools that leverage the power of AI.
However, if you plan to grow sending infrequent emails to a small list, Mailchimp becomes expensive fast and its low limits . If you have more than 500 subscribers (the highest number allowed for the free Mailchimp plan) and plan to send to them more than a handful of times a month , costs escalate dramatically. For example, increasing to even 1,500 subscribers with the Standard plan triples the cost, to $60 a month – and the monthly limit would allow you to send only four messages a month to such a list.
Also, where many other services define an email send as one that reaches an active subscriber, Mailchimp counts all sends, whether to an active subscriber or not. That being said, there’s value in the platform for very small enterprises, and its many tools add value.
|Price per month||$0||$13||$20||$350|
|Email sends per month*||1,000||5,000||6,000||150,000|
|Number of subscribers||500**||500**||500**||Unlimited|
|Free trial?||Yes, 30 days||Yes, 30 days||Yes, 30 days||No|
* This represents messages sent times the number of subscribers.
** 500 subscribers is the most allowed for free service, and is used here to price the other plans – all of which have 16 other subscriber limits, at progressively higher costs.
- Comes with pre-built email series for e-commerce brands
- Offers SMS and email automation features
- Integrates with popular e-commerce platforms like Shopify
- Makes list segmentation easier with fast, customizable groupings
- Fewer integrations than other options
- Lacks drag-and-drop design functionality
Why we chose it: Drip integrates with your favorite e-commerce platforms and includes pre-built message sequences designed to help e-commerce stores convert.
Drip’s pre-built messaging sequences include those for converting abandoned carts, engaging post-purchase customers and connecting with different audience segments. The platform also comes with various automation tools for SMS and email campaigns, which can save you time and money by speeding up the process of crafting your perfect email sequences.
The platform integrates with popular e-commerce sites like Shopify and WooCommerce. That said, it doesn’t have as many other integrations as some of the competition. You can’t design your emails with a drag-and-drop system, for example, which can make the design process a bit more challenging. But if you want a ready-made email marketing solution for e-commerce, it’s tough to find a better option than Drip.
|Plan 1||Plan 2||Plan 3|
|Price per month||$39||$89||$154|
|Email sends per month||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Number of subscribers||2,500||5,000||10,000|
|Free trial?||Yes, 14 days||Yes, 14 days||Yes, 14 days|
- Forever-free plan option
- Excels at sending personal emails in bulk
- Shared inboxes for teams
- Integrates with SMS and WhatsApp campaigns
- Doesn't offer bespoke design services
- Setting up new accounts can be time-consuming
Why we chose it: Brevo helps you build stronger relationships with B2B clients across email, SMS and live chat. It also has dedicated plan options for transactional emails.
Brevo, whose name was changed in early 2023 from SendInBlue, is a flexible email marketing platform that can also help you connect with B2B clients via SMS and WhatsApp. It excels at sending personalized emails in bulk. You can send up to 120,000 messages in a minute. [https://www.brevo.com/features/email-api/] That makes it a strong option for larger B2B businesses with expansive contact lists.
However, users have reported that setting up a new account can be difficult. You also won’t find comprehensive email design services here. [https://www.capterra.com/p/132996/Sendinblue/reviews/] But if you need a powerful B2B email marketing platform with flexible pricing options and a forever-free plan, Brevo is a solid option.
|Price per month||$0||$25 (plus $12 to remove Brevo branding)||$129|
|Email sends allowed||300/day||20,000/month||100,000/month|
|Number of subscribers||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Free trial?||Yes (the service being free)||No||No|
- Offers hundreds of email marketing automations
- Features 900+ app integrations
- Complimentary data migration service with every plan
- It takes time to make the most of the platform's features
- Pricing will be expensive if you have many contacts
Why we chose it: ActiveCampaign promises to save time by automating many different aspects of its email marketing campaigns. The program also integrates with more apps than most competitors.
Email marketing can be a time-consuming process — especially when you want to create different messages for different audience segments. ActiveCampaign automates many important tasks, including changing your emails based on actions your recipients take.
The platform also offers many third-party app integrations. This makes it easy to use ActiveCampaign with other digital marketing tools, such as your CRM.
However, the platform is a bit pricey, and it can take more time than with competitors to learn how to use all of its features, but it’s a powerful tool for automation that can save you a lot of time.
|Price per month||$70||$187||Custom|
|Email sends per month||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Number of subscribers||1,000||2,500||Custom|
|Free trial?||No||Yes, 14 days||No|
[https://www.activecampaign.com/signup/?code=marketing&tier=plus& and selected monthly rates]
- Offers many easy-to-fill-out templates
- New option for AI-powered content recommendations
- Easily scales with subscriber-based pricing packages
- Integrates with other marketing strategies, such as social media ads
- Comparatively expensive
- Limited automation features – especially for the price
Why we chose it: Constant Contact makes email marketing easier with a variety of simply learned yet powerful tools for crafting better emails.
Constant Contact offers a wide variety of templates and has a user interface that’s easier to navigate than those of most service providers.
You can also opt for AI-generated content recommendations, and there are plenty of integrations for tools designed for lead generation, customer relationship management and other aspects of your marketing efforts.
The platform is relatively expensive for what you get, and some competitors have more options to automate your work. But Constant Contact is cleanly designed, easy to use and can help you be effective with your email marketing campaigns even if you’re not sure where to begin.
|Lite (500 subscribers)||Standard (1,000 subscribers)||Premium (2,500 subscribers)|
|Price per month||$12||$55||$150|
|Email sends per month||5,000#||12,000#||50,000#|
|Number of subscribers||500||1,000||2,500|
|Free trial?||Yes, 60 days||Yes, 60 days||Yes, 60 days|
#: All plans allow at least 50,000 sends per month, with tiered pricing. We selected these levels to show pricing for a program with the subscriber numbers shown might typically require. [https://www.constantcontact.com/pricing]
- Less expensive than most services
- Unlimited email sends per month
- Has a generous 30-day free trial
- Includes a drag-and-drop email builder tool
- No forever-free plan option
- Not an all-in-one marketing tool
- Templates are relatively basic
Why we chose it: Moosend is one of the most affordable email marketing platforms. That’s especially true given its unlimited email sends, even for its $9 monthly plan.
Moosend also allows you access to some highly effective email marketing tools, such as a drag-and-drop email builder and a variety of templates designed to improve open rates and conversions.
There’s no forever-free plan, though, and other competitors offer more sophisticated templates. But it allows the cost of your program to escalate steadily to a fairly modest total, and avoids the dramatic increases some competitors such as Mailchimp charge as your program grows.
|Pro (500 subscribers)||Pro (1,000 subscribers)||Pro (5,000 subscribers)|
|Price per month||$9||$16||$48|
|Email sends per month||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Number of subscribers||500||1,000||5,000|
|Free trial?||Yes, 30 days||Yes, 30 days||Yes, 30 days|
- An all-in-one digital marketing solution
- Very easy to use
- Offers a massive app marketplace to customize your marketing strategy further
- Free-forever CRM
- One of the most expensive email marketing solutions on the market
- All business plans require a one-year commitment
Why we chose it: HubSpot is an all-in-one digital marketing platform with excellent email tools and integrations that are unusually easy to learn.
The platform helps you to build emails that are automatically tailored to each recipient, which allows you to increase click-through rates and conversions while also improving your bounce rates and deliverability. The platform also helps with analytic tracking so you can gain deeper insight into your performance.
The downside to HubSpot is that it requires a yearlong commitment to one of the most expensive email marketing options available. That requirement makes it a poor fit for a small company that wants to keep costs low during its early growth stages. If, however, you are a medium-sized or larger business looking for a powerful digital marketing ally, HubSpot might be your best option.
|Price per month||$800||$3,600|
|Email sends per day||5,000||5,000|
|Number of subscribers||2,000||10,00|
- Well-priced given its program scale
- 24/7 customer support options
- Comes with a wide variety of templates
- Offers many onboarding and educational resources
- Tougher than many programs for beginners
- Doesn't make it easy to migrate from other marketing platforms you may be using
Why we chose it: Campaigner stands out by offering plenty of advanced features for large-scale email marketing at solid prices.
Campaigner offers advanced email marketing features to help your company create, execute and track more complex campaigns. It comes with tools for third-party app integrations, automations, audience segmentation and conversion tracking. You can even use the tool to build landing pages and forms for lead generation.
You also get access to a variety of onboarding and educational resources when you sign up for a plan. And if you need further help to learn the platform, you can get it by contacting one of Campaigner’s customer support options, which are available 24/7 – availability that not all platforms offer..
The downside with Campaigner is that it’s complicated, and beginners may have a tough time adjusting to it. If you’re an experienced marketer who knows what you’re doing, though, Campaigner could be just what you’ve been looking for.
|Price per month||$59||$179||$649|
|Email sends per month||30,000||150,000||600,000|
|Number of subscribers||5,000||25,00||100,000|
|Free trial?||Yes, 30 days||Yes, 30 days||Yes, 30 days|
Other companies we considered
While researching the best email marketing platforms of 2023, we also considered some other companies. Here’s a list, with pros, cons and the reason each did not make the final cut.
AWeber is an affordable email marketing solution that offers many different templates with responsive designs. However, it didn’t make our list of picks for two key reasons: its features are relatively basic and it continues charging you to host subscribers even if you remove them from your contact list.
- Forever-free plan option
- Responsive email designs
- Includes many templates
- Continues charging for contacts that unsubscribe from your lists
- Offers only basic automation features
ConvertKit helps you monetize your emails through tips, subscriptions and digital product sales. However, it didn’t make the cut because it’s relatively expensive for the features you get.
- Lets you sell digital products and subscriptions
- Includes a landing page editor
- Can help you monetize your newsletter
- It's expensive for what you get
- Very limited template offerings
- Data reporting is relatively basic
Campaign Monitor offers powerful beginner-friendly tools to help optimize email campaigns. However, it didn’t make our shortlist because it offers no real-time options for customer support, either online or over the phone, so you may face a problematic wait for a response.
- Beginner-friendly tools and interface
- Powerful integrated analytics
- Comes with a variety of versatile templates
- Customer support is very limited
- It doesn't help with other forms of marketing
Guide to Email Marketing Software
Choosing the right software is just one part of optimizing your email marketing campaigns. You also want to make sure that you’re getting as much value as possible out of the platform you choose. This guide is designed to help with that, too.
Main things to know before choosing email marketing software
What your needs are
The first step to choosing email marketing software is to consider the needs of your company. Do you want to be able to connect with unlimited contacts throughout every stage of the customer journey? Or are you perhaps looking for a more surgical solution for smaller lists? You might also be interested in conducting A/B testing or saving time through automations.
Your answer could affect your choice of platforms. It’s also worth evaluating how the goals you’re thinking about will intersect with other software you may be using or plan to use.
For example, you might already have accounting software for small businesses that you want to integrate with your e-commerce email marketing solution. Alternatively, you could interested in finding the best social media management software in addition to that for email marketing.
These platforms will likely need to work together, and how well they do so could factor into your decision-making. Check the details for the programs you have and the email marketing programs you may be considering for their claimed compatibility.
Features and capabilities
Once you know what you want in an email marketing platform, and what other programs it needs to play well with, you’re ready to start delving into what the competing programs can do.
Here, in brief, are some of the attributes and capabilities that can be important in an email marketing program:
Interface: This should be user-friendly and allow you to create email campaigns with ease, even if you don't have technical expertise.
Contact management: Features that matter here include ease of importing and exporting contacts, of segmenting them into different groups and in managing subscriber preferences.
Email templates: Ideally, there’s a variety of these, professionally designed and able to be customized to match your brand.
Personalization options: Crucial for engaging your subscribers, these allow you to dynamically insert recipient names, customize email content based on their preferences or past interactions and use merge tags for a personalized touch.
Automation: Enables you to set up triggered emails based on specific events or actions, such as welcome emails, abandoned cart reminders, or birthday offers.
A/B testing: This enables side-by-side testing of different subject lines, content variations or send times to optimize campaigns.
Analytics and reporting: These track the performance of campaigns, through reporting rates for opening, click-through and conversion rates, subscriber growth and more.
Deliverability and spam compliance: Ensures that relatively few emails are being marked as spam, via capabilities such as spam testing, authentication protocols and compliance with email marketing regulations.
Integration: How well the program works and plays with other tools you use, from CRM software to e-commerce platforms to customer support systems.
Scalability: How well – and, given its pricing, how affordably – the program can scale with your growing needs to accommodate a larger subscriber base.
Third-party performance metrics for software should allow you to track various metrics, including deliverability, click-through and bounce rates along with integrated A/B testing analysis and detailed analytics for tracking.
Once you’ve evaluated whether a platform meets your performance and feature needs, you can start looking at pricing options. While doing this, it will be especially important to consider the number of email sends and subscribers that each plan offers, and at what prices – and how those costs will change as your business grows, or shrinks.
If you’re concerned about pricing, you may be able to save money elsewhere. For example, you could start using free invoice software or take advantage of other marketing accounting tools that are low-cost to offset the additional expenses.
Finally, you also want to make sure that you get access to the support you need at the times you need it. You could have the best data visualization tools in the world, but if you don’t have timely help in using them, you may not get your money’s worth.
What is the average cost of email marketing software?
The cost of email marketing software ranges from $0 to upwards of thousands of dollars per month. The financial burden will depend a lot on the service you choose and the plan that you select. This makes it difficult to provide an average cost of email marketing software since every business has different needs. As a general rule of thumb, expect your costs to rise the more subscribers you have and emails you want to be able to send per month.
How does email marketing software work?
Email marketing software is designed to help companies create more effective email campaigns in less time. They accomplish those goals by offering a variety of features, including automations, email templates, integrations and some of the best data analytics tools for email marketing.
You can use all of these tools to engage with your lists more effectively. Whether that means designing drip campaigns that gradually move prospects closer to conversion or sending out transactional emails on an hourly basis, email marketing software is supposed to make your strategy easier to execute.
Why use email marketing software?
Email marketing software is a versatile enough tool that you may have several reasons for wanting to use it. These platforms offer the following benefits, some of which may be more relevant to your situation than others:
- Time-saving through automations and templates
- More in-depth performance tracking and analysis for more effective campaigns
- Integrations with other marketing tools for deeper insights and clearer cross-brand messaging
- More email design tools for more engaging, eye-catching emails
Just as the best recruiting software will help you find better talent, the best email marketing software will help you write more effective emails. That can be very valuable to your business, as it could help to increase sales and improve your bottom line.
Email Marketing Software FAQs
Do I need to have an e-commerce store to use email marketing software?
Can I integrate other apps with email marketing software?
Do I need any prior knowledge or skills before using email marketing software?
How should I switch email marketing providers?
If the email marketing provider you like doesn't offer data migration support, the process can be more complex. It may take time to complete the migration on your end or you might want to pay an expert to help you with it. Either way, it's something to consider before choosing a platform.
How We Found the Best Email Marketing Software
We created our list of the best email marketing software of 2023 by analyzing a variety of factors and features. This included each of the following:
- Features offered: We considered which platforms offered the most powerful features and the ones that offered the most features for the lowest prices. We prioritized software that offered the most features for the lowest prices.
- Pricing: We also looked at pricing to evaluate the relative strengths and weaknesses of different packages. We prioritized software that offered the most flexible and affordable pricing options to end users.
- Plan scalability: Email marketing can scale quickly. We considered which companies offer the most support with this to prioritize options that can scale quickly with your business as it grows.
- User-submitted reviews: We looked at reviews from verified users to assess how real customers felt about different email marketing software. We prioritized products with high percentages of positive reviews.
- Learning resources: We considered the availability of integrations to determine how well each email marketing platform communicates with other marketing software. We prioritized products that integrate easily with apps you may already be using.