Top 5 Email Marketing Tools in 2020

Top 5 Email Marketing Tools in 2020

Even with all the new marketing channels, technologies, and tactics, email marketing remains the most effective marketing channel with the highest ROI.

However, email marketing is also a highly competitive field. The average person can receive hundreds of emails in a single day, so a proper execution is necessary to capture your audience’s attention.

Fortunately, there are various email marketing tools that can help you in planning, executing, and automating your email marketing, where you’ll need all the advantages you can get.

Yet, with all the different options available, it can be confusing to choose the right email marketing tool with the right price and the features you actually need.

With that being said, here are our recommendations for  5 of the best email marketing tools in 2020, a brief overview about the, and their pros and cons.

 

Top 5 Email Marketing Tools in 2020

1.MailChimp

MailChimp is one of the oldest email marketing tools ever invented, and is still the industry leader even with the arrival of newer competitors with new technologies.

One of the key reasons for that, is the fact that Mailchimp was one of the very first user-friendly email scheduler, offering various templates and a visual builder to build your email with a drag and drop approach.

So, the key highlight of MailChimp is its ease of use. However, Mailchimp also offers a fairly well-rounded set of features to cover all your email marketing needs.

Also, MailChimp offers great integration with hundreds of software and applications, from popular ones like WordPress, WordPress alternatives and niche CMSs. It’s very easy to integrate MailChimp with your existing environment.

Pros:

  • Very easy to use template editor
  • Generous free plan allowing 10,000 emails and 2,000 subscribers
  • Great third-party integration with hundreds of platforms
  • Great reporting functions
  • Great lead capture features
  • A/B testing

Cons:

  • Hard to program automation compared to its competitors
  • Strict policy prohibiting affiliate marketing

Pricing: A free version, enough for basic email marketing needs. The cheapest Essentials plan is $9.99/month, and the Premium plan is $299 per month

You can also check Mailchimp alternatives.

2. ActiveCampaign Lite

ActiveCampaign is a full-fledged digital marketing tools suite, offering various sales and marketing automation tools.

ActiveCampaign Lite, however, is solely focused on email marketing, with various features like setting up autoresponder, analytics report, great user segmentation features, and many more.

A key advantage of the ActiveCampaign Lite, however, is the ability to send unlimited number of emails with a very competitive price, at just $9/month, you even get quite advanced automation features in its basic plan.

You might also want to consider subscribing for ActiveCampaign’s full Enterprise plan, which offers some of the best digital marketing tools available today.

Pros:

  • Cost-effective as a well-rounded sales and marketing automation tools suite
  • The Lite plan, focused on email marketing only, is also very affordable where you get unlimited number of emails sent for just $9/month
  • Great, easy to use personalization features

Cons:

  • Fairly obsolete user interface compared to newer competitors
  • Slow customer service

Pricing: Lite version for email marketing is $9/month (unlimited emails), Enterprise plan is $229/month. No free plan available.

3.Campaign Monitor

Campaign Monitor is quite similar to MailChimp in many different ways, but mainly because it also offers an easy to use visual builder with a drag and drop approach.

However, Campaign Monitor offers better email automation features, with a more user-friendly email automation workflow and more advanced automation features.

On the other hand, Campaign Monitor is slightly lacking in its lead capturing features. Again, especially when compared to MailChimp.

Pros:

  • Cost-effective, slightly more affordable than MailChimp with all of the offered plans
  • Easy to use, user-friendly visual builder
  • Great and easy to use automated campaign builder
  • Great reporting and analytics tools, you can easily evaluate your campaign and develop your strategy

Cons:

  • No free plan offered, the $9/month plan is comparable to MailChimp’s free plan with slightly more features
  • Pretty steep learning curve for the advanced functions, although initially easy to use

Pricing: The most affordable plan is $9/month, and the most expensive plan is $149/month. You also have the option to pay per campaign or a custom plan based on your needs.

4. ConvertKit

ConvertKit is an email marketing tool focused on ecommerce, offering several unique features that are useful for ecommerce-specific needs. For example, the feature to do recipient analytics, opt-in forms designers, and landing page builder, among others.

ConvertKit probably offers the richest feature set among the other tools in this list, especially focused on conversion (hence the name ConvertKit). A well-rounded tool for any email marketing needs, even when you are not planning to do ecommerce.

However, it’s quite expensive with its subscriber-based pricing model. If you do have the budget, ConvertKit is a very good choice especially if you want to boost your conversion.

Pros:

  • Great set of features, especially for conversion-focused features designed for ecommerce needs
  • Easy to use marketing automation features
  • Intuitive user interface with great visual builder
  • Advanced marketing automation features
  • Website builder as an extra feature

Cons:

  • The cheapest plan is relatively expensive, and limited to 1,000 subscribers
  • Steep learning curve with a very deep, advanced features
  • Not many templates

Pricing: Starts from $29/month (1,000 subscribers), the most expensive plan is $79/month (5,000 subscribers), custom plan available, no free plan.

5. Mailjet

Similar to MailChimp and Campaign Monitor, Mailjet is an email marketing tool that especially focuses on simplicity and intuitiveness with its drag-and-drop email builder.

Mailjet does offer relatively basic email automation, but is sufficient for most email marketers. However, there are two interesting selling points that might make Mailjet the best choice for you: just like MailChimp, the free plan is fairly useful. The second, it’s very easy to integrate an SMTP server with Mailjet.

SMTP can be useful if you want to improve the speed of email delivery, so it’s a valuable feature to have if you are going to implement time-sensitive email campaigns (i.e. limited offer).

Pros:

  • Easy, reliable SMTP server
  • Very easy to use, intuitive builder
  • Free basic version, sufficient for basic email marketing
  • The paid plan is also affordable at just $8.69/month
  • Can integrate sign-up forms within the email

Cons:

  • Customer service not very responsive
  • Basic overall features compared to others in this list

Pricing: free version available, the most affordable plan is $8.69 per month, and the premium plan is $18.6/month.

Conclusion

Each of the 5 email marketing tools we have discussed above offers their own unique selling points, and each has their disadvantages.

It’s important to first figure out your email marketing goals, and choose the right tool that can help you in achieving that goal(s), according to your needs and budget.


I'm a growth marketing consultant who helps B2B, SaaS, IT, technology and software companies generate more leads, sales and grow revenue online. I offer expert advice on marketing your company the right way through performance-based SEO, digital marketing, social media, search engine marketing and many other online practices. Connect with me on LinkedIn and schedule a free marketing strategy session!

Comments

  1. Hi Mike,

    It’s one of things….

    First I was holding back on paying for an email service, trying to use MailChimp free version with the 2000 free contacts. That was great until I tried to automate a newsletter…oh dear, fail. I needed to upgrade to automate that and it cost $30 per month.

    That may it a no-brainer to go with GetResponse for $15 per month, oh well, we live and learn don’t we?

    Cheers
    Carl

  2. Hello Mike,

    Thanks for this post, I really appreciated all the infos you’ve shared on this article, and I learned a lot about not only which email solution I should get, but also on the technical concepts of email marketing and what qualities/features I should look for. Thanks!

    As a marketing beginner, however, do you have any extra tips on which email marketing solution I should invest in? And any tips on how to begin an email marketing campaign in general?

    Thanks in advance, Mike, and best regards,

    Ken

    • Hi there Ken,

      Thanks for your visit, and thanks for the kind words!

      To answer your first question, too bad you didn’t include too many details about your business.

      However, I think MailChimp is the safest bet for beginners for three main reasons: first, it’s very easy to use with a great visual editor and various templates to choose from. Second, it has a very well-rounded set of features that should help you with your basic email marketing needs. Third, it’s fairly affordable and probably the free plan (which is very generous) is going to be enough for your current needs.

      For tips, It’s honestly hard to give them over this comment section, but if I really need to choose one, I think there are two main areas to focus on:

      How you can grow your email marketing list. Have a strategy on how you can grow your database. This will depend on your niche or type of business, but generally, you should have at least one working lead magnet (an offer that is attractive for the ideal audience that you give for free in exchange for their email address).
      Segmenting your list. Segmenting your list into smaller groups is very important for personalization and automation purposes, which can boost open rate, CTR, and decrease churn rate.

      Focus on these two at first, and little by little your email marketing results should grow.

      Hopefully, this answers your questions,

      Thanks and best regards,

      Mike

  3. Hello Mike, thanks for this content. I’m currently attempting email marketing in a fairly small eCommerce startup, any recommendation out of these 5 solutions you’ve discussed above?

    Also, do you think that email marketing is still important in 2020 and onwards with all the new channels and how people are spending most of their time on social media?

    Thanks before,

    Dan Clark

    • Hi there Dan,

      Thanks for visiting this blog, and thanks for the kind words, appreciate it.

      You asked a pretty similar question to Ken above, and I’d still recommend MailChimp due to its ease of use, versatility in its features, and affordability, especially if the free version is sufficient for your current needs.

      However, ConvertKit is also a great choice for eCommerce sites due to its variety of conversion-focused features and easy email marketing automation. One of the key features I really liked from ConvertKit is its great auto-responder management, so we can easily send email automation (drip emails) depending on our audience’s needs.

      For the second question, yes, email marketing is still the best channel to promote your business with one of the highest ROI.

      Hope this helps,

      Thanks and best regards,

      Mike

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