Ranking the best email marketing services of 2016

All Small Medium Enterprise

[Last updated: September 5th, 2016]

We’ve taken our time to look through nearly every feature the most popular email marketing services have to offer. Now, our top choices are available to help you make a quick choice for your business needs. The top choice for provider this year goes to GetResponse.

Best overall: GetResponse

Overview: Our number one is a valuable tool for any size business because it’s easy to use, affordable, and is full of rich features. GetResponse is used in small (0-50 employees), medium (51-1,000 employees) and enterprise companies (1,000+ employees).

Summary: The most accurate way to describe this service is “all-inclusive” and “affordable”. GetResponse users will be able to create high-converting landing pages to entice visitors into becoming leads. Next, you’ll be able to send them a series of autoresponder emails that will grow your brand awareness and build trust. The whole time using a large set of features like webinars ( w/pro and above plans), split testing, and immediate metrics to help you gauge the success of campaigns. No coding required. GetResponse also has a free 30 day trial that has all the bells and whistles as the paid version so you can truly see what you’re getting for your money. No credit card required. The form builder may be lacking for someone looking for a specific style, but if you need something easy to use, the interface and templates are great options.

Read our full GetResponse review here.

Best Cheap: Benchmark

Overview: This affordable email service can help you split test your emails on top of sending them. Benchmark is used in small (0-50 employees), medium (51-1,000 employees) and enterprise companies (1,000+ employees).

Summary: One of the biggest variables with email services is cost. Benchmark has low-cost plans for free (under 2000 subs) to a plan that covers over 7 million subscribers, they are one of the cheapest providers out there. You won’t have to lose out on features, though. If your company needs to send visual emails quickly, you’ll enjoy the drag and drop email creator with built-in image editors for speed. These make Benchmark great for e-commerce, and all their emails are mobile-friendly making it that much more valuable. Stat-hungry marketers may want to take notice that this provider doesn’t provide their own conversion tracking but instead uses Google analytics for that data.

Read our full Benchmark review here.

Best Enterprise Service: Campaign Monitor

Overview: Top-shelf features galore at a bit higher price tag compared to most. Campaign Monitor is used in medium (51-1,000 employees) and enterprise companies (1,000+ employees).

Summary: Big businesses will enjoy the simplistic interface that Campaign Monitor provides. Training multiple employees to use this service won’t be difficult and the reports generated will no-doubt help a large number of your team make better decisions. If email marketing isn’t a consistent part of your business plan, you can pay for individual campaigns “a la carte” style which could save the monthly fee associated with many other services. Support seems to be somewhat limited and this is one of the higher priced options on our list, but for the right-sized business it could be a good fit.

Read our full Campaign Monitor review here.

Number 4: MailChimp

Overview: A great choice for startups and small site owners who need something to capture email addresses and communicate with their customers. MailChimp is used in small (0-50 employees), and medium companies (51-1,000 employees).

Summary: MailChimp is known for its size (10 million users) and the free plan of up to 2,000 subscribers. These factors set them apart for reliability, which is important when you’re talking about private emails. They’re designed to be a simple email provider and accomplish it well. MailChimp is one of the few email marketing providers that integrates with third party platforms, such as FreshBooks, Google Drive and Salesforce, allowing you to automatically download your contacts fast. You’ll find everything easy to use and the price is appealing, but if you want something with a lot of marketing features this provider isn’t for you. The segmentation and high-level list building isn’t quite as strong as the others on our list. That said, if you need a simple way to get out a newsletter or broadcast, they fit the bill.

Read our full MailChimp review here.

Number 5: Aweber

Overview: A well-known option and is usually the first step a business takes into paid email services. Aweber is used in small (0-50 employees), and medium companies (51-1,000 employees).

Summary: One of the earliest email platforms that still packs a punch. Aweber is another solid choice for a small to mid-sized business who wants a stable company handling their list. Inexpensive plans for the lower amounts of subscribers will usually suit most needs. AWeber goes out of its way to provide you with everything you could possibly need- like 700 email templates to choose from. The company has been bombarded with competitors who have more intuitive options, better list organization, and more versatile design options. The company is adapting to meet current demand with new feature rollouts like “Campaigns” for segmentation. The willingness to compete and their longevity make Aweber a popular and credible choice.

Read our full Aweber review here.

Number 6: iContact

Overview: If your list stays below 10-15k contacts this provider can help you make the most of it. iContact is used in small (0-50 employees), and medium companies (51-1,000 employees).

Summary: One of the easiest interfaces to send out an email campaign, bar none. iContact also has some of the best social media tools to keep your brand relevant both in and out of the inbox. The dashboard links iContact with Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can set up drip fed content even if you don’t understand the finer points of behavioral marketing. Their pricing and limited number of subscribers per plan kept them from being toward the top of our list. If you have a large list or need something priced lower it’s probably not for you. However, if you’re looking for a great way to stay in touch with your small to medium-sized list iContact is the service to try.

Read our full iContact review here.

Number 7: Vertical Response

Overview: If you have a smaller list, this email service will help you get more for your money than other providers. Vertical Response is used in small (0-50 employees), and medium companies (51-1,000 employees).

Summary: Vertical Response strikes a great balance between a provider with a ton of “extras” and one that is suited for smaller businesses. You may have looked at the larger email marketing services and loved features like social media options, responsive templates, and intuitive interfaces but didn’t like their price tag. This platform takes on all of that functionality and puts a very reasonable fee on it. Integration with some of the most popular tools online like SumoMe and a few CRM’s are also available. The fee is even lower if you have a small list (under 1000), or if you’re a non-profit they offer a discount for your good work. All in all a sound option for a small business and medium companies could do a lot worse.

Read our full Vertical Response review here.

Number 8: Constant Contact

Overview: This provider can help any business owner utilize their email list to stay in contact with their leads regardless of technical skill. Constant Contact is used in small (0-50 employees), and medium companies (51-1,000 employees).

Summary: This provider isn’t the most versatile dancer at the party, but they’re good at the moves they know. If you need to send emails with an (incredibly) simple platform and don’t need more robust tech like segmented drip campaigns and split-testing you may like Constant Contact. Or, if customer support is a heavy concern, that may just sway you their way as well. The staff is courteous and helps in a timely, award-winning manner. Constant Contact offers an unheard of 60 day free trial and a 30 day money back guarantee, the best we’ve seen in this space. Not the option for any business that relies on the data emails can deliver, but this service isn’t without it’s usefulness to the right business.

Read our full Constant Contact review here.

Number 9: Campaigner

Overview: Advertised as a “next-level” email marketing service, this provider is one of the best beginner choices. Campaigner is used in small (0-50 employees), and medium companies (51-1,000 employees).

Summary: Campaigner may be stripped down of the bells and whistles other email marketing platforms give you, but it presents all the data in an easy to read manner. Built with inexperienced business owners and marketers in mind, you’ll have everything you need to start communicating to your list quickly. More templates than many other services means you can have a great looking email sent out quickly to impress your clients and leads. Campaigner offers a 30 day free trial, however it still requires a credit card to sign up. If you’re looking for something with intricate options, you’ll need to search elsewhere. If you appreciate the simplicity, give them a closer look.

Read our full Campaigner review here.

Number 10: Salesforce – Marketing Cloud

Overview: Our last email service isn’t for the faint of heart, but will serve most enterprises very well. Marketing Cloud is used in enterprise companies (1,000+ employees).

Summary: Salesforce is the best-known name in customer relationship management (CRM) and have expanded into several related categories. Marketing Cloud is their take on email and is fully integrated with their classic software. It squeaked onto the list simply because so many businesses use Salesforce for their leads. To be honest, the interface isn’t that intuitive and takes a bit of learning. However one excellent feature is the Social.com advertising subscription, which will scale your advertising efforts over a variety of platforms such Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. All told, it’s still one of the top integrations if you are already using the most popular CRM on the planet. Large business and enterprise clients will enjoy the simplicity of having both services under one digital roof. If you are a smaller company and don’t use Salesforce, look elsewhere.

Read our full Salesforce – Marketing Cloud review here.