Guide to choosing the best email marketing service

You are already doing or are thinking of starting to do email marketing. Are you looking for the best email marketing platform to match your site? On this page you will find a comparison of the best services available, which you can easily integrate with your WordPress site .

When choosing an email marketing platform it is necessary to take into consideration several factors, such as the cost, ease of use, available features, the possibility of integration with the solutions you already use and, very importantly, the level of service deliverability.

Guide to choosing the best email marketing service:

You are already doing or are thinking of starting to do email marketing. Are you looking for the best email marketing platform to match your site? On this page you will find a comparison of the best services available, which you can easily integrate with your WordPress site .

When choosing an email marketing platform it is necessary to take into consideration several factors, such as the cost, ease of use, available features, the possibility of integration with the solutions you already use and, very importantly, the level of service deliverability

Summary of topics:

  • MailChimp
  • ActiveCampaign
  • MailerLite
  • ConvertKit
  • Drip
  • GetResponse
  • AWeber
  • Sendy
  • MailPoet

Summary table of email marketing services costs

Other email marketing platforms

Single and Double Opt-in: what you need to know

Some useful tools to use before sending your emails

Which email marketing service I recommend:

The latter is a fundamental variable and represents the ability of emails sent to arrive in the recipient’s inbox and not in that of unsolicited e-mail (or worse yet not to arrive at your destination).

Precisely the need to have a reliable system that allows you to be sure that emails sent arrive at their destination is one of the factors that should push you to consider only the best email marketing services.

Beyond this, a good email marketing service must allow you to:

easily create the email messages you will send to your subscribers;

quickly and efficiently manage the list of contacts, allowing you also to segment them into various subgroups;

track interactions, such as message openings and clicks, to monitor the progress of various email marketing activities.

I also state that there is not necessarily a better email marketing service than the others. However, there is certainly the one that best suits your needs. This is because some email marketing services are, for example, more oriented to e-commerce activities, while others are those that do lead generation activities or are involved in online training or coaching.

When evaluating the purchase of an email marketing solution, you must first consider the use you want to make. It does not make much sense to spend hundreds of euros or dollars a year maybe just to send an email every 6 months to report that a new article has been published on the site. For needs of this type, you will not need a service that allows you to do marketing automation or A / B testing of messages.

On the other hand, if you are looking for a platform that allows you to do lead nurturing effectively, then the various marketing automation features, the ability to create complex sequences and evaluate the behavior of subscribers to your lists, will be fundamental requirements in choosing the platform to use.

I also specify that in this article, by email marketing I mean exclusively those activities of sending emails to people who have voluntarily signed up for your newsletter or other forms on your site, not to send massive emails using address lists gathered who knows where.

Below is a list of some of the most reliable services you can use to do email marketing and which you can easily integrate into your WordPress site

MailChimp:

MailChimp is one of the most popular email marketing services in the world, but this does not make it the best service nor the one I recommend to my clients. Compared to most other services, it offers the advantage of being free to use if your list has less than 2000 subscribers and if you send less than 12,000 emails per month. This aspect makes MailChimp very attractive, especially for those who start from scratch in creating their email list.

One of the main advantages of MailChimp is the availability of innumerable integration possibilities. It is rare indeed that a CMS or a plugin dedicated to email marketing does not integrate with MailChimp. Whether you use WordPress (also with WooCommerce), PrestaShop, Magento or Shopify, you will have no problem integrating these platforms with MailChimp. If your platform is not supported MailChimp still allows you to create simple HTML forms to insert on the pages of your site, so as to be able to collect subscribers. So, even on simple static HTML pages, you can insert MailChimp forms. This is not an exclusive feature of MailChimp, since generally all email marketing services integrate a form generator to “capture” the subscribers.

MailChimp also allows you to easily access the Giphy database to easily insert animated GIFs into your campaigns.

MailChimp facilitates the creation of emails, thanks to the wide choice of templates for different needs, from the simplest to the most graphically sophisticated.

MailChimp allows you to create autoresponders , that is automatic email sequences that are activated based on the actions performed by the registered user or based on pre-established time intervals.

The service also allows you to link to your site’s RSS feed (such as a WordPress-based blog) so you can automatically send emails whenever new content is posted on your site .

Like many other services of this kind, even MailChimp requires a lot of practice to be fully exploited. If in fact the initial configuration and the steps to send the first emails are rather simple to learn; learning to master the various tags for the creation of templates, autoresponder automatisms (marketing automation), the various possibilities of segmenting the lists of writings to the newsletters and all the other features made available by the service, can take a long time.

Another aspect to keep in mind if you intend to use MailChimp is that linked to the count of the registered users. With MailChimp, in fact, if you want to create multiple lists, for example:

  • one to manage subscribers to the newsletter of the blog;
  • one for those registered to download an eBook;
  • a list dedicated to customers;

know that if a person has registered with the same email address to these three lists, for MailChimp is counted as three subscribers.

This, when done unconsciously, is a mistake that is frequently made by those approaching MailChimp for the first time. However, there are ways, by using a single list and managing the groups appropriately, to correctly segment different users but avoiding having to pay several times for the same registered email address.

With MailChimp I have never had any particular problems with deliverability. However, it can often happen that emails sent to Gmail users end up in the promotions box instead of the inbox. However, this depends and varies greatly depending on the content of the message, the template used and many other factors

MailChimp is also very active and is committed to fighting spam, so you have to be very careful in taking care of your list and the type of messages you send. For more information, I invite you to read the page dedicated to MailChimp’s Ominivore .

In the past it happened to me that Omnivore, the automatic MailChimp antispam system, blocked an account with a list with only a few hundred emails (regularly acquired also using the double opt-in) and from which only a couple of newsletters had been sent . Even by contacting the assistance there was no way to get an answer, or to reactivate the account and above all not even know why the account was blocked.

ActiveCampaign

It is a service that combines the functions of email marketing with those of a CRM (customer relationship management) and much more. Personally I consider it among the best email marketing automation services and it is the platform that I use and I recommend most .

ActiveCampaign uses a convenient WYSIWYG editor that allows you to easily create newsletters with even complex graphic layouts. Also included are several templates that you can use for your communications.

One of the main advantages of ActiveCampaign is the considerable power and flexibility with regards to the creation of automations , that is those email sequences that are activated based on specific events.

The service not only allows to trigger an action when a subscriber opens an email or clicks on the link contained in a message, but also when he visits your site or returns to visit a certain number of times a specific page of your site.

Based on the actions performed by the subscribers to your lists, ActiveCampaign allows you to assign them tags (to better classify them and organize them) and a score (the so-called lead scoring ) so as to make it easier to identify which contacts are on your list representing the better business opportunities.

For example, a higher score can be assigned to those contacts that tend to always interact with the newsletters you send and that may have visited the price list page of your site several times. On the other hand, the contacts on your list that are more “cold” and less involved in your communications will be assigned low scores. As an ActiveCampaign user you can customize the attribution logics of the various scores.

ActiveCampaign is not just sending emils, but it also allows you to manage SMS (the service is not available in Italy) and, quite interesting functionality, a site messaging service that allows you to show personalized messages on your site when a contact of yours list is visiting it.

Unlike MailChimp, this service does not include free plans, although it is possible to try ActiveCampaign for 14 days even without entering your credit card information. After the trial period, if you intend to continue using the service, you must sign a payment plan. The cheapest, the one called “Lite”, has a cost of $ 9 per month and can handle a maximum of 500 subscribers. It has all the basic features, but to get the most out of ActiveCampaign you need to go at least to the “Plus” plan, which costs $ 55 dollars a month.

Here you can also find my complete review comparing ActiveCampaign with ConvertKit

ActiveCampaign, unlike MailChimp, does not make you pay multiple times for the same email address registered to multiple lists.

The deliverability of messages sent with ActiveCampaign is among the best.

MailerLite:

MailerLite is less known than other services, especially in Italy, but I consider it the most suitable solution for those approaching the world of email marketing and marketing automation. It is in fact the cheapest service and the one that offers a free version with the May number of features .

Many people are attracted to MailChimp because of the free 2,000-contact plan. They forget, however, that the free plan offers very limited marketing automation features and that, with the number of subscribers increasing, MailChimp can become very expensive.

MailerLite instead offers already in the free version all the automation possibilities and offers pay plans at an incredibly low price, considering the quality of the service offered.

Moreover MailerLite is very simple to use, to an intuitive tool for the creation of the forms that can be easily incorporated in the pages of your site, or visualized with a popup.

ConvertKit

ConvertKit is one of my favorite services. Compared to others it is mainly focused on the needs of bloggers and content creators and less on those who do e-commerce activities in the more traditional sense of the term.

This does not mean that ConvertKit is not suitable for those who sell online, but it is certainly more oriented to those who sell content and / or services rather than physical products.

ConvertKit provides all the tools to manage multiple lists and create registration forms to be included on your site, both using the HTML code and a convenient WordPress plugin. Like other services, it has numerous integration possibilities. Remaining an example always in WordPress, it is extremely easy to integrate it with a plugin like Gravity Forms .

ConvertKit gives its best in the creation of automated email sending sequences that can be created to better manage the various sales funnels .

You can use configure various rules based on time intervals or actions performed by users registered on your list. It is also extremely easy to segment the different registered users through the use of tags.

ConvertKit also has a visual system for creating automation flows, similar in some ways to that of ActiveCampaign.

ConvertKit, as well as MailChimp, allows you to link to an RSS feed to automate the automatic sending of an email every time a new article is published on the blog .

ConvertKit is an ideal tool for those who want to sell services, launch a new product, stimulate webinar registration and build a relationship with their potential customers through email.

One of the peculiarities of ConvertKit , which I personally see as an advantage but many could see as a limitation, is that of not having attractive and hyper-colored templates, but essentially using text-based emails, the same type of email that is generally possible to send a any mail program. This allows you to give a decidedly more personal touch to the content sent, which does not seem to be the classic newsletters or commercial DEMs.

This does not mean that with ConvertKit we cannot format the texts of an email in bold italics or it is not possible to insert links or images in a message. ConvertKit provides all the various buttons to format the text of an email.

In light of this, it is clear that ConvertKit is a tool particularly suited to individuals and perhaps less to companies.

A company that deals with e-commerce and still wants to send rich email communications with product photos (and maybe even digital copies of paper flyers) will probably not find a suitable tool in ConvertKit.

You should also know that if you want to manage several sites and different domains, with ConvertKit it is preferable to create multiple accounts.

However, if you are involved in consulting, training, coaching or you are still a creator of digital content, with ConvertKit you will surely find a tool perfectly suited to your needs.

Furthermore this is probably the easiest email marketing service to use and easier to learn.

ConvertKit has one of the best deliverability rates I could find. The emails sent with ConvertKit also often tend to end up in the inbox of Gmail users and not in that of promotions, as sometimes happens with emails sent by other services.

The cost of the ConvertKit service starts at $ 29 a month for lists of up to 1,000 subscribers. All the features of the service are already present in this plan. The monthly (or annual) price varies only based on the number of subscribers, not the features. With ConvertKit, even if an email address is registered to more than one list, it will be counted only once for the purpose of billing the service.

Drip

Drip and email marketing service created by Leadpages, the popular platform used to create landing pages.

The service allows you to easily create automation and email sequences that allow the creation of highly personalized email marketing campaigns. All this in a rather simple and more intuitive way than example as it is possible to do with ActiveCampaign.

Drip also allows you to easily manage different domains and this allows you to manage different realities within a single account. Moreover, as well as ActiveCampaign and ConvertKit, even with Drip each newsletter subscriber is counted only once for the purposes of billing regardless of the lists to which it is registered.

Want To Make The Most Of Your WordPress Site?

This service also integrates easily with Facebook Lead Ads , Facebook ads that allow you to easily collect new leaders on the social network. With other services it is instead necessary to carry out integration work, for example with services such as Zapier, to transmit the leads collected on Facebook directly to the email marketing service.

Drip also allows tracking of user activity on the site . It also allows you to do lead scoring activities and assign tags to the various subscribers to your list.

Also Drip, as well as with the other services presented, allows you to exploit the RSS feed of your site to send automatic messages every time a new content is published, for example on the blog.

Drip has a free plan, limited to 100 members. The first payment plan is the one called “Basic” which costs $ 41 a month and allows you to manage up to 2500 contacts.

Drip also has numerous additions with external services and CMS, being one of the most popular email marketing platforms.

GetResponse:

GetReponse makes it easy to manage autoresponders and marketing automation activities. Compared to the past, in which it was essentially an email marketing service, in recent times we have wanted to offer many other services such as CRM, the creation of Landing pages and the management of Webinars.

Also on GetResponse the creation of email sequences takes place in visual mode, thus offering the user the possibility of creating flows in a rather easy intuitive way.

GetResponse offers a large amount of ready-made templates to use for your emails and this can surely be a positive aspect for many, but that personally leaves me rather indifferent.

GetResponse prices start at € 12 per month for lists up to 1000 subscribers, but without all the advanced marketing automation services. For those it is necessary to activate the next plan of € 39 per month which allows you to manage up to 5000 subscribers.

AWeber

It’s one of the first email marketing services I’ve tried to use in conjunction with WordPress, let’s talk about 2006/2007 ? Already then AWeber was well known and many of its current competitors still didn’t exist.

The service allows you to send individual newsletters or automated email sequences. It was also one of the first services to make it extremely easy to connect an RSS feed to automatically send emails of new articles published on the blog.

If at the beginning AWeber was “simply” a service for sending emails, now it allows you to automate your marketing funnel allowing you to define rules and tag list members based on their actions.

You can therefore create welcome sequences, email courses, or lead nurturing campaigns in a rather easy and immediate way.

AWeber offers many ready-made HTML templates but also allows, through a visual editor, to create their own.

As with the other services mentioned on this page, AWeber also enjoys excellent integration possibilities with external services and the various CMSs.

Like many other email marketing services, AWeber also does not have a free plan, but allows you to try the service at no cost for the first 30 days. Once they are completed, you must activate a paid plan if you intend to continue with the use. The cheapest costs $ 19 a month and is suitable for lists that do not exceed 500 subscribers.

Sendy

Unlike the other email marketing services presented on this page, Sendy is something completely different. It is not an external service that requires the payment of a monthly fee, but a software that you must install on your server.

For sending messages Sendy does not use the SMTP service of your hosting, which is highly discouraged, but the popular Amazon SES service specifically designed for sending large volumes of emails and which has very advantageous costs.

The advantages deriving from the use of Sendy are many, but the most obvious and immediate is the considerable cost savings compared to other solutions. The cost of Sendy is in fact only $ 59 one-off . So no monthly fees

At the cost of purchasing the software, which in practice are PHP files that you will have to upload to your server, the costs of using the Amazon SES service must be added, which, to tell the truth, are extremely contained , equal to about a dollar for every 10,000 emails sent .

Sendy also allows you to manage multiple domains (therefore also different brands and customers) within a single installation. The software also generates reports to evaluate the progress of the various campaigns and has many other functions useful for email marketing:

it is possible to create autoresponders, ie sequences of emails that start at certain time intervals;

you can segment your lists based on the criteria you want;

you can create custom fields to manage additional information about your contacts, not just the name and email address;

then easily manage bounces, spam reports and of course cancellations from users’ lists.

Another advantage of Sendy is the possibility to integrate this solution with the most popular CMS like WordPress, Magento, Drupal, Joomla and Prestashop; but also with WooCommerce, Gravity Forms , Ninja Forms , the excellent Thrive Leads and many other plugins. It is also possible to interface Sendy with Zapier, thus making the possibilities for integration with external solutions practically unlimited.

Despite being a great product, which I have personally used for over a year with great satisfaction, Sendy is not a solution for everyone.

Compared to the other services that I have reported to you on this page, with Sendy you need to roll up your sleeves a little to perform some operations “by hand”, such as the initial installation of the software and subsequent updates.

With Sendy then you will have to create the templates to be used for sending the newsletters. These are not particularly complicated activities, but it is clear that you need a little more work than other email marketing services.

To create templates for your newsletters I suggest some resources :

 

Sendy does not provide all those sophisticated marketing automation tools provided by other platforms such as Drip, ActiveCampaign, ConvertKit, MailChimp, AWeber or GetResponse, but it represents a solution to take seriously if you do not need all those advanced features and you want to send a large number of emails at very advantageous prices .

If in fact you find yourself paying $ 80 or $ 100 dollars a month just to send a newsletter every now and then, maybe it could be useful to save something and take a look at a solution like Sendy.

MailPoet

For WordPress there is also a well-known plugin, called MailPoet, which allows you to integrate the management of all email marketing activities into your site.

It is a solution that can be used free of charge if you have less than 2,000 subscribers to the list and are satisfied with the basic functions.

To use all the functions of the program and also take advantage of their service of sending messages, it is necessary to purchase the license of the plugin ($ 99 for a single site) and the SMTP service for sending messages, which starts at $ 10 a month (up to to 500 subscribers).

MailPoet allows you to send messages using the mail service of the server that hosts the site (a solution not recommended) or to take advantage of external services for sending emails , such as Amazon SES.

MailPoet may be suitable for people who prefer to do everything within WordPress. Thanks to this plugin it is possible to create and send newsletters without leaving the WordPress administration interface.

With MailPoet you can send both normal newsletters and email sequences as well as automatic notification messages whenever a new post is published.

MailPoet is not a solution that I particularly recommend, especially because using it means to further load your WordPress site with additional functions. This can also mean possible conflicts with other plugins.

Moreover, in case of problems on the server, besides not being able to use the site you will not be able to use even the service for sending newsletters.

To make it easier for you to evaluate the costs of the various email marketing platforms mentioned on this page, I have summarized their minimum annual cost based on the number of subscribers to manage . This parameter is in fact universally considered the main variable that determines the subscription fee for the various email marketing services. For the various services I have selected the plans that envisaged at least the marketing automation function and selected the annual payment formula.

From the table I have excluded Sendy and MailPoet, since these two tools have pricing models different from the monthly fee and separately count the cost of the license to use the software and the SMTP service for sending messages.

Other email marketing platforms:

I could continue further with the list of email marketing services, but I will limit myself to mentioning some very well-known ones that I haven’t had the chance to try or that, like MailUp, I’ve never tried in conjunction with WordPress.

Here are some of the most popular ones: Constant Contact, MailUp, SendinBlue, Campaign Monitor, Emma, ​​Mad Mimi … but I will surely have forgotten many others ?

If you only want to send newsletters and you don’t care about all the marketing automation features, but you want a service that is easy to use and completely in Italian, then I recommend VOXmail , which also offers a free plan for up to 2,500 subscribers and 15,000 mailings per month .

Often, when you find yourself having to decide how you want readers to subscribe to your newsletters, you’ll encounter these two terms: single opt-in and double opt-in. What do they mean?

Single opt-in means the registration method which provides only one confirmation action. In practice, once the form with the email address and other requested data has been filled in, the user is already registered on your list.

For Double opt-in (sometimes also called confirmed opt-in) it is necessary for the user to make another step to confirm their registration. Once the form has been completed and the request has been sent, a click on a link contained in the confirmation email that the system (MailChimp, ConvertKit …) automatically sends to the new subscriber is required.

Often, when a person evaluates these two systems, he may be more inclined to choose to activate the Single opt-in, often because he fears that with the Double opt-in the number of subscribers will be lower, since not everyone will click on the link confirmation.

I confirm that surely you will have a lower number of subscribers with the Double opt-in, it is inevitable that not everyone will proceed to the confirmation. My advice, however, is to prefer Double opt-in, since it gives greater guarantees on the quality of the list of subscribers.

 

Tags:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *