Best Email Marketing Services for Small Businesses (SMB)

Did you know that – statistically speaking- email marketing has shown a significantly better ROI compared to other marketing channels? According to a survey conducted by Direct Marketing Association and Demand Metric, email had an ROI of nearly 122%, whereas other channels such as social media had just 28%. Interestingly enough, the majority of companies that achieved this ROI were using what are called email marketing services. Email marketing services are tools that help business owners and marketers create, send, test, optimise, track and report on the performance of their email marketing campaigns.

Although email marketing services are used by businesses both large and small, in this article we will focus on email marketing services for small businesses.

Why? Because we want to make it clear that choosing the free tool isn’t always the most lucrative of options, even if you are working with a lean budget. There are plenty of cost-friendly, yet powerful solutions out there for your small business. The devil is in the details…

Why use an email marketing service?

Email marketing services can have a major effect on the success of your business’ marketing campaigns. From a business perspective, emails are a cost-effective and efficient way of acquiring new customers, boosting sales, building up your brand awareness and fostering a sense of trust among your customers.

Choosing the right email marketing service can be tricky, so sometimes it helps to assess their functions and from there, decide which service fits your needs best. Question is…which functions should be looking for? Here are a few you might want to consider:

  • Drag-and-drop editor. Have an easy-to-use visual editor will make the email creation process that much simpler. Grab a template and customise to your needs and have it out the door in no time.
  • Sign-up forms. These are great for collecting new subscribers.
  • Integrations. Having a software that ‘plays well with others’ is critical, especially if you want to optimise your email campaigns (i.e. with email campaign feedback)
  • Marketing automation. It’s always good to have a email marketing service that caters to your automation needs, i.e. autoresponders or targeted (automated) campaigns.
  • Range of Campaign types. On top of your regular newsletters and customer emails, you might also want a tool that can run A/B tests or send out autoresponses.
  • Support. Always good to keep support tools in mind, such as email support or live chat.

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Ready to get started?

Here are 20 of the best email marketing services we could find that can may you jumpstart your email marketing programme.

1. MailChimp


Mailchimp is one of the world’s oldest and best known suppliers of email marketing services. It offers a web-based alternative for small companies which begin to construct their mailing list that can significantly eliminate the initial investment. They offer a forever free plan, with which you can send up to 12,000 emails a month to 2,000 subscribers. Although Mailchimp offers a generous free plan, the prices get can get pretty steep pretty quickly once you start increasing the number of your emails and subscribers.

Pricing: Free / $9.99 (Essentials) / $14.99 (Standard) / $299 (Premium)


2. Sendinblue


SendinBlue is a popular email marketing services among small businesses.
One of the biggest highlights of this tool is its email automation capabilities, whereby users can simply trigger campaign actions, assign lead scores, send transactional messages and more. Unlike the majority of email marketing service providers, SendinBlue doesn’t offer list-based pricing. Instead, the plans are determined based on the number of emails you’d like to send per month.

Pricing: Free / $32 (Lite) / $48 (Essential) / $82 (Premium) / Custom (Enterprise)


3. Constant Contact


Constant Contact is one of the largest and fastest growing email marketing services. It includes free personal coaching and support by phone, email, chat, and in person. It is also the email marketing service that is easiest to use as it is very friendly for beginners. Constant Contact provides hundreds of responsive templates that are mobile responsive and customisable.

Pricing: $20 (Email) / $45 (Email Plus)


4. AWeber


AWeber is an email marketing service that offers a wide-range of tools for small businesses and entrepreneurs to generate and manage their email marketing tasks and campaigns. AWeber enables users to keep their list organized by using their automation to automatically manage subscribers via rules they create. Additionally, this email marketing service allows you to tag your emails so that they are sent based on subscriber behaviour. You can also easily track and report the campaign performance.

Pricing: $19 (Up to 500 subscribers) / $29 (Up to 2,500 subscribers) / $49 (Up to 5,000 subscribers) / $69 (Up to 10,000 subscribers) / $149 (Up to 25,000 subscribers) / Custom (Over 25,000 subscribers)


5. GetResponse


GetResponse is an email marketing service that is very easy to use for small businesses. You can personalise subject lines and email text using contact field data, but it requires some coding. It also provides flexible forms, a landing page editor, integration with Google Analytics, and advanced email automation, enabling you to capture and nurture new leads. You can use the drag and drop email tool to create newsletters too!

Pricing: $15 (Basic) / $49 (Plus) / $99 (Professional) / $1199 (Enterprise)


6. Campaigner


Campaigner is a simple and useful email marketing service for small businesses as it offers 1,200 possible email variations. Campaigner offers great customisation and segmentation possibilities. The tool provides two different auto-responder templates: recurring and triggered. Recurring emails are sent on a pre-timed schedule whereas triggered emails are designed for lead nurturing, introductory or thank you messages. The Campaigner offers 24/7 chat support for all its consumers and a 30 days trial period.

Pricing: $19.95 (Starter) / $79.95 (Growth) / $299.95 (Corporate) / Custom (Enterprise)


7. ConvertKit


ConvertKit is a relatively new email marketing service that is specifically marketed towards professional bloggers, authors, and marketers who are in the process of building an audience. This email marketing services works with a tag-based system that for example, enables users to apply tags to subscribers based on behaviour. Many like this feature because it makes the tool more ‘customer-based’ rather than ‘list-based’. In other words, you can focus on people who have taken specific actions instead of emailing an entire list of people.

Pricing: $29 (up to 1000 subscribers) / $49 (up to 3000 subscribers) / $79 (up to 5000 subscribers) / Custom


8. eSputnik


eSputnik is a marketing automation company that has years of experience working as IT consultants for top companies applying email and SMS marketing. Being a multichannel marketing tool, it is one of the best automated marketing tools for a small business. Users can automate their marketing through multiple channels to help users reach their target market more effectively. It also offers email campaigns, SMS marketing, Viber messaging, and web push notifications.

Pricing: $1.99 (Freedom- 1000 emails) / $15 (Optimal) / $599 (Email Marketing Agency)


9. Keap (formerly Infusionsoft)


Keap (which was once Infusionsoft) is one of the oldest and most renowned email marketing services. The platform is built around the process of automated funnels and landing pages. It is capable of sending a trigger email in almost any possible circumstances. By setting up automatic lead scoring based on prospects’ engagement levels, they can assign points to contacts based on tags applied, web forms submitted, links clicked, and emails opened. However, the planning phase before the actual implementation can be time-consuming because of the complicated configurations.

Pricing: $39 (Grow) / $74 (Pro) / $99 (Infusionsoft)


10. Emma


Emma (an “acronym” for email-marketing) is another powerful email marketing service, which I’ll warn you, is a little on the expensive end but highly useful for small businesses. Emma focuses on segmentation and automation, and has an easy-to-use email builder to make it easy for teams of all sizes to leverage their customer data, increase engagement, and drive more revenue from email. They also offer autoresponders and in-depth tracking reports. You can automatically send the right emails to the right people depending on if they open an email or click on a certain link. But the learning curve is a bit longer compared to other marketing platform.

Pricing: $89 (Pro) / $159 (+Plus) / $229 (Emma HQ)


11. iContact


iContact is an email and social media marketing service that helps businesses of all stages and sizes get results. iContact offers clean, straightforward navigation, a plethora of features, and more than 670 email templates. The back-end functionality is reliable and pretty extensive and all email templates are high quality.

Pricing: $32 (Essential)


12. SendPulse


SendPulse is a cloud-based email marketing service that allows users to manage email, text messaging and push notifications through a single platform which is suitable for small and midsize businesses. These are combined with a triggered email tool, meaning this platform has everything you need to really improve your email campaign results. Unfortunately, SendPulse lacks advanced features and the ability to use ready-made templates for SMS distribution, and the application does not have the ability to divide contacts into groups

Pricing: Free (Subscription 2,500 with limited features ) / $29 (Subscription 3,000) / $35 (Subscription 5,000) / $53 (Subscription 10,000)


13. Drip


Drip is a relatively new email marketing service on the market. Their core demographic is bloggers, marketers, and eCommerce site owners. Drip includes support options such as live chat support, webinars, automation training, detailed courses, free guides and excellent documentation. The font options are quite limited in Drip where you can’t change font color, highlight, select size, etc. You can only choose from the present options.

Pricing: Free / $49 (Basic) / $122 (Pro) / Custom (Enterprise)


14. ActiveCampaign


ActiveCampaign is a powerful and easy-to-use marketing automation & sales CRM platform designed for small businesses on a budget. The tool is now used by over 60,000 organisations, ranging from bloggers and startups to marketing teams at companies of all shapes and sizes. ActiveCampaign’s built-in CRM seamlessly links up to all your email marketing data, allowing sales teams to act quickly. Unfortunately, there’s no free plan, and with a trial period of just 14 days, they don’t give you much time to assess whether it’s right for you.

Pricing: $15 (Lite) / $70 (Plus) / $159 (Professional) / $279 (Enterprise)


15. HubSpot


HubSpot is an all-in-one marketing software solution that enables you to bring all your different marketing channels together, optimise for more traffic, a higher conversion rate, and better ROI. It is a set of essential software tools that help businesses grow through inbound marketing. With HubSpot, you can get your small business organised, capture qualified leads, identify which prospects are likely to buy, and increase sales.

Pricing: Free / $70 (Starter) / $1120 (Professional) / $4480 (Enterprise)


16. Mailjet


Mailjet is a free email marketing service that lets you send a huge volume of transactional emails to your users. It is a popular email marketing service that’s known for having the best price and email deliverability. Their clean dashboard and easy to navigate menu and editor makes setting up email campaigns a pain-free task. There are also tools to segment lists and personalise emails with all your contact data. Unlike many other email providers, Mailjet charges according to the number of emails you wish to send per month, not the number of subscribers you have.

Pricing: Free / $8.69 (Basic) / $18.86 (Premium) / Custom (Enterprise)


17. MailerLite


MailerLite is a rather simplistic email marketing service, but don’t let this simplicity fool you. This tool provides its users with advanced technologies to attract your visitors and convert them into subscribers, such as landing pages, pop-ups and an easy-to-use form builder. MailerLite is available in multiple languages as they serve a wide international audience. Moreover, the interface is intuitive and you can create emails pretty quickly. MailerLite lets you grow your email list for free until you reach 1000 subscribers. Even though it has great prices, there are still some missing pro features like advanced automations, spam testing, full reporting, etc.

Pricing: Free / $10 (1,000 subscribers with all features) / $15 (2,500 subscribers) / $30 (5,000 subscribers) / $50 (10,000 subscribers)


18. VerticalResponse


VerticalResponse is an email marketing service which is bundled with many advanced features. For instance, it offers 700 templates and step-by-step email creation tools. It also helps to track the responses, clicks, opens and sales from the dashboard. Additionally, you can choose a template to customise based on the type of email you want to send and you’ll have a responsive email campaign ready to send in minutes, no coding or design experience needed.

Pricing: $11 (Basic) / $16 (Pro) / $196 (Pro+)


19. Benchmark


Benchmark is another email marketing service built for small businesses. This tool combines simple use with a wide variety of design choices. Benchmark offers a pleasant user experience all around, offering a simple, stripped-back interface, and a fast, intuitive email editor. To create emails, there is a drag-and-drop editor (for those with no design experience), a code editor for advanced users who have expertise in writing HTML code, and a plain text editor for creating text-only emails

Pricing: Free / $31.99 (2,500 subscribers + CRM) / $65.99 (7,500 subscribers + CRM) / $106.99 (15,000 subscribers + CRM)


20. Omnisend


Omnisend is a sophisticated ecommerce marketing platform that integrates all your communication platforms in one place. It allows you to automate your email delivery using behavioural triggers and easily time your communications based on your customers’ convenience. Omnisend also offers unique features such as online scratch cards, discount coupon codes, gift boxes, and ‘wheel of fortune’ incentives. A/B testing and website tracking are included too.

Pricing: $16 (Standard) / $199 (Pro) / $2000 (Enterprise)


Start scaling your business with the right email marketing service!

Email marketing services can be considered powerful tools as they give you a great deal of control when building a relationship with the customers. Whether you are running a blog, small business website or online shop, email is a great way to retain your current customers and one of the most efficient ways to convert new visitors into customers. As we’ve shown you, there are a whole range of email marketing services available – and hopefully at least one that will suit your needs.

And don’t stop at email marketing services! Once you’ve found your rightful tool, it’s important to measure your performance with your email campaigns. Feedback can be a great resource for understanding your audience and sending them more customised or relevant emails. Want to learn more? check out this article or ask one of our representatives how you can get started with email campaign feedback today!

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