If you are looking for an affordable and effective online marketing strategy, your answer is email marketing. While people may ignore social media ads and promoted posts, they always check their inbox at least once per day. For marketers and business owners, setting up and running an email marketing campaign takes less time and money compared to other types of digital marketing campaigns.
We expect that as long as email addresses will exist, email marketing will thrive. However, it can only be effective if you use the right tool to create and send emails and to analyse the results of your campaigns. You can find many email marketing tools, but before you decide to subscribe to a plan you should read this article first.
We have taken into account not only the features and benefits of these email automation tools, but also the price. As a small business owner, you cannot afford to spend a lot of money every month for a complex software suite, provided that you do not need all of its functionalities.
Therefore, our list of top email marketing tools for small businesses is:
Launched in 2001, this is one of the oldest email marketing software suites. Through the years, its team of developers had the opportunity to understand the problems and needs of their target customers– small business owners like you. As a result, MailChimp now has a simple and easy to understand interface, featuring exactly the functions you need:
- Plain text
- A/B Test
This is all you need to send out emails directly, automate campaigns, write short emails to certain subscribers and, most importantly, test various email formats and copy versions before you reach the final version.
MailChimp is free for small businesses that have up to 2,000 subscribers and will send out a maximum of 12,000 emails per month.
- Constant Contact
Constant Contact has found the perfect formula for user experience. Its clean and user friendly interface is easy to use even by people who have never worked with an email marketing tool. This software suite offers you all the tools you need to create, send, track and analyse your campaigns:
- A rich variety of email templates
- Image library and file hosting up to 1 GB
- Email tracking and deliverability rate
- A/B testing
- Contact list building and management
- Social share buttons added to the email
Apart from these features, Constant Contact is one of our top email marketing tools thanks to its very helpful and responsive customer support. You can get help through live chat, email, the user community, or by browsing a rich library of resources.
All of this can be yours starting from $20 per day, with a 60-day trial period before you commit to pay.
- Active Campaign
What if you could reach your customers not only by email, but also by SMS? Written text messages sent to your subscribers by phone are just as effective as emails. Active Campaign allows you to create and send out both types of these promotional messages if you choose the Plus subscription plan at $55 per month.
The user interface is extremely intuitive, with drag & drop items which allow you to create logical paths for autoresponder emails. For instance, if someone abandons a shopping cart, you can create a rule to send a series of automated emails reminding them of the products they have in the cart. Thus, you can create very complex rules which cover every potential situation, helping your business retain customers and convert leads.
Drip is user friendly and the perfect choice for small businesses that have a WordPress website. Drip integrates perfectly with both WordPress and WooCommerce. Thus you can easily create sign-up forms on your website and build your list of subscribers, which will be synced automatically with Drip.
Drip also allows you to create logical automation paths, freeing you from the task of checking up your leads’ activity and setting up campaigns on the spot. Drip is free for up to 100 subscribers and costs $41 per month for the Basic plan (up to 2,500 subscribers). You can request a demo of the tool before you decide to subscribe for a plan.
AWeber is your perfect choice if you focus on mobile email campaigns. The email templates offered by this email marketing tool are fully responsive. You can choose between drag & drop and HTML editing for your email newsletters, automate campaigns and create autoresponder follow-ups.
AWeber integrates with Facebook, WordPress, PayPal, and Drupal (a popular site-building platform for ecommerce websites). Pricing plans for small businesses are $19 per month for up to 500 subscribers and $29 per month for up to 2,500 subscribers. Both subscription plans have a 30-day free trial period.