10 Most Popular Email Marketing Platforms

by Martin

10 Most Popular Email Marketing Platforms

Are you looking to make THIS your best year in business? Yes, then there is no way around using a email marketing platform. 

Why? Because email converts about 3x better when compared to social media or your website. 

Choosing the right email marketing platform can have a significant impact on the success of your marketing campaign. In this article, we will review the 10 most popular email marketing platforms for coaches, teachers and service based businesses.

Having said this, there is one more reason for why you want an email marketing platform: GDPR. If you are either based in or transacting with clients in the European Union (EU), you must comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Part of this regulation is that you need to keep track records of every email contact on your list. When did they subscribe or unsubscribe, and even more important, when did they accept the GPDR related terms enabling you to send them emails.


What is Email Marketing Automation?

Before we dive right into it, let’s spend a minute to get all on the same page. Just to be clear here, when you are running a business, you need email marketing and you need automation of the same.

To automate your email marketing, you need a piece of software. This is called a email marketing platform. This platform enables you to automate your marketing workflows, have visibility into your statistics and send better emails with the ultimate goal of building deeper relationships with your potential and existing clients.

Email marketing automation enables you to create timely, relevant and personalized emails to be send to individual contacts from your email list based on event or time-based triggers.


Why Choosing The Best Email Marketing Platform is Important?

Email marketing is on of the most cost-effective marketing tools out there. This is because it’s easy to manage, gives you full control, and allows you to establish a direct relationship with your clients.

It’s important to understand that a lot of your success with email marketing depends on the software platform you choose. It is the responsibility of the marketing platform provider, to ensure that your emails actually get delivered.

I repeat: “Your success entirely depend on your emails actually get delivered!”

And if we say delivered, we mean delivered into your potential or existing clients email INBOX.

There are some things that are in your control such as having a clean email list, building code error templates, crafting spam-free email text and images, and running proper tests.

Email delivery isn’t. This is why it’s so important to look at the right criteria when selecting the email marketing platform for your business.


What to Look for in a Good Email Marketing Platform?

When it comes to choosing the right email marketing platform, to me, there are three selection criteria: Deliverability, Ease of Use, ROI.

Deliverability is king! To me, it’s worth nothing, if your emails end up in SPAM. We have done intensive testing to identify the best provider in this category.

Next is ease of use. A good email marketing platform should enable you to create highly engaging email automations with an easy user interface. You should be able to create event and time based triggers to send out one or a series of emails to any potential or existing client based on the set criteria.

While automated for you, your emails need to be perceived as personalized to the recipient. Using the recipient first name in every email message is equally important to addressing your text and images to them directly as if you would have a live conversation. It’s all about engagement.

Aside from that, your email marketing platform must make it easy to manage your contacts, segment them into groups, and track performance of your email marketing campaigns.

Last but not least, ROI. Return-on-Investment is a vital measurement in any business. When investing monthly or annually into an email marketing platform, you want to ensure the highest return on that investment.

When we compared the 10 most popular email marketing platforms, ROI is a combined measure of email deliverability, ease of use and cost.

Now, let’s have a look at the 10 most popular email marketing platforms in alphabetical order and how they stack up against each other.


1. ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign’s mission is ‘Help growing business make meaningful connections with their customers’. It’s vision is to provide businesses like you an all-in-one marketing platform. To name the two main components here: Email marketing and CRM. There are many more features, tools and integrations. 



Who should use this email marketing platform?

If you are looking for a way to automate your email marketing based on event triggers (contact subscripts to a list) or time based triggers (start a email sequence at a particular day and time), ActiveCampaign has you covered.

There are different ways you can streamline your marketing workflows with ActiveCampaign:

      • User segmentation with lists, tags and event/time based triggers
      • Trigger personalized emails based on clients actions
      • Send automated follow-up emails
      • Quick and easy to setup sign-up forms for your website or landing page
      • Combine sales and marketing data via CRM functionality
      • Integrate messaging and respond to clients behavior 
      • Lead and contact scoring for contact prioritization

Some can argue that ActiveCampaign compared to other email marketing platforms is more complex to work with when you first get started, and I would agree.

Since ActiveCampaign aim is to be more like an all-in-one marketing platform, there are a lot of tools and features available, and it might be a little overwhelming at times. Having said this, comparing only feature by feature with its rivals, it is not more difficult to work with.

Luckily, there are fantastic training tutorials on their website and their support team and community is absolutely amazing. So nothing to be concerned about.

ActiveCampaign has the highest delivery rate of all platforms tested. 96%.


How much does it cost?

Especially when you are looking at its pricing model. For up to 500 active contacts on your list, you have to pay $9 when on the annual and $15 when on the monthly plan. This is an absolute steal.

You can grow with ActiveCampaign as its pricing model will remain affordable compared to others.

You will get a free two weeks trial with up to 100 active contacts.


2. AWeber

AWeber has been around for a while. It has been very popular and tool of choice for many businesses up to reason years. They are considered to even have invented the email marketing platform itself. 


Who should use this email marketing platform?

The platform is equipped with pretty much all the functionality you would expect from a leading in its space. You can built emails with a drag-and-drop builder, have access to lots of pre-designed templates and all the to be expected integrations into the rest of your online business and marketing tools.

Trigger based automated email sequences are in the heart of the platform as email follow-up sequences, A/B testing capabilities and stats such as deliverability rates amongst others.

AWeber wouldn’t be an email marketing platform if it wouldn’t offer quick and easy to be implemented sign-up forms and banners to embed onto your email or landing page software platform.


How much does it cost?

AWeber starts at $19/month for up to 500 subscribers and unlimited emails. If you pay quarterly, you benefit form a 14% discount and you can even get a 14.9% discount if you pay annually.

The pricing matrix is competitive to grow with your business.

A 30-days trial period is available for free.


3. Constant Contact

Constant Contact is one of the largest and fast growing email marketing platform providers. It’s popular with beginners as known famous for its ease to manage email lists, contacts, email templates, marketing calendars and more. 


Who should use this email marketing platform?

Constant Contact is ideal for absolute beginners who are worried about how to get started. Its user interface is light on the eye. It’s easy to navigate and access quickly email list, templates, contacts, marketing calendar as well as reporting and built-in social media sharing tools, free image library and powerful integrations such as Facebook Ads and Shopify eCommerce. 

Their eMail plus accounts (additional charge) comes with powerful features like email automation, surveys & polls, coupons and subject line A/B testing to help you maximize your open rate.

Constant Contact offers excellent access to their support via chat, email or phone. They have a very good library, training videos, webinars and a dynamic community where users support users.


How much does it cost?

Constant Contact starts with $20/month for 500 contacts. If you pay quarterly, you get 10% and 12% discount for an annual plan. Both, quarterly and annual plans offer the first month for FREE.

eMail plus starts at $45/month and would benefit from the same discounts as the base plan.

Growth aligned pricing is fairly competitive.

Free trial period is 60-days with a 100% money back guarantee.


4. ConvertKit

ConvertKit is popular with professional bloggers, authors and social media starts. It is easy to use and extremely powerful.



Who should use this email marketing platform?

ConvertKit is targeted at creatives who want to spend their valuable time on content creation and not email marketing automation. It’s user intervals is incredibly simple, navigation is easy and email automation workflows super fast.

It’s visual builder is famous as you can actually visualize (see) how your email sequence will look and feel for your recipients. It allows for easy content updates like incentives or sign-up forms.

ConvertKit has a built-in landing page functionality allowing you to host your landing page (aka sales page) within the platform and not your website or a landing page software at additional cost.

The subscriber management as well as tagging and advanced email segmentation are also there and easy to use.

ConvertKit offers email based support, extensive knowledge base, great elearning material and a fast community where you could get tips and tricks from other users.


How much does it cost?

ConvertKit starts at $29/month for up to 1,000 subscribers on the monthly and $25/month on the annual plan. 

Pricing matrix is competitive.

ConvertKit offers 14 days trial and 30-days money back guarantee.



Drip is a powerful and relatively new email marketing platform aimed at bloggers, eCommerce site owners and marketers. Easy personalization combined with a wide range or marketing automation stools makes Drip attractive quick start users.


Who should use this email marketing platform?

Drip is a solid option if you are an eCommerce site owner, selling a vast variety of digital and/or physical products. It’s clear strength is understanding client intent and purchasing behaviors. With Drip you can build a deep knowledge about your customers and clients with it’s amazing metrics tracking functionality.

They offer seamless integration for WordPress and WooCommerce amongst others, allowing to add early sign-up forms to your website or capture more leads. It’s advanced analytics sets it apart from the competition. Metrics include returning visitors vs new ones, visitors who abandoned their cart and email recipients who clicked on a link vs those who didn’t.

Drip offers support via live chat, webinars, eLearning, free guides and documentation.

Drip might not be as commonly known within the marketing world yet, but I’m sure it will be soon. Based on our experience, Drip is probably the best email marketing software for eCommerce site owners.


How much does it cost?

Drip offers a FREE forever account with up to 100 subscribers and unlimited email sends. With $49/month for up to 2,500 subscribers Drip is right about where it’s competition lays.

Pricing from 5,000+ subscribers is more at the higher end of the scale.

Drip offers 14 days trial and 30-days refund policy.


6. GetResponse

GetResponse is a very popular, easy to use email marketing platform. Besides it’s core features, it has powerful add-on’s such as landing page and webinar capabilities. 


Who should use this email marketing platform?

GetResponse is an all-in-one marketing platform with a very large user base. It comes with amazing marketing automation tools, like their drag-and-drop building which is amazing. You can create campaigns, segment contacts, send different content to specific user groups besides it’s capabilities to do A/B testing, design embedded landing pages or built amazing looking responsive sign-up forms.

The perfect timing feature is quite unique in the field. This feature will help to predict the perfect time of day to send out emails to increase open rates.

GetResponse hot new feature ‘Autofunnel’ is a ready-made, automated sales funnel generator. It allows you to built your landing pages, automate your emails, sell your products, recover abandoned orders, and convert your customers all in one place.

Support is provided by a huge community, live chat, email and phone as well as a library full of learning material, videos, webinars and how-to guides.


How much does it cost?

GetResponse starts at $15/month for 1,000 subscribers on a monthly plan. Discounts of 18% for the annual and 30% for the two year plan are available.

You can test 30-days absolutely for FREE. There is no money-back as the subscription can be cancelled monthly.



7. Keap (InfusionSoft)

Keap, previously know as Infusionsoft, is one of the most complete email marketing platforms. This all-in-one marketing solution combines email marketing with automation, CRM and some pretty cool advanced features. 

Keap Infusionsoft

Who should use this email marketing platform?

Keep aka InfusionSoft is for professionals who want to built a complete client profile to help them create a tailor-made more targeted marketing campaign.

InfusionSoft (now Keap) was one of first to the market with a drag-and-drop email automation builder. Their aim has always been simplicity for the user. You set a goal, the builder helps you with ease to create an automation that will meet that goal. Simply amazing.

Given it’s price-point (details below), it is more for mid-sized businesses who look to combine email marketing with CRM. Having said this, the absence of A/B testing capabilities is a big setback for organization of this size, so make sure you are clear on your need for this feature before making a purchase decision.

Advanced features include pipeline management, appointments, messages, invoices & payments as well as quotes and an extensive reporting & insights section.


How much does it cost?

Keep (InfusionSoft) currently runs a promotion offering 30% off for 3 months + Free Data Migration and starts now at $34/month for 500 subscribers and 1 user only.

To have access to it’s amazing advanced features, you need to budget already $100-$149/month for 500 subscribers and 1 user only.

You will get 14-day risk-free trial. There is no money-back as the subscription can be cancelled 10 days before the next billing cycle.



8. MailChimp

MailChimp is properly the worldwide best know email marketing platform provider, mainly, because they offer a free forever plan. They are for sure are one of the largest with over 1 billion emails send a day. 


Who should use this email marketing platform?

MailChimp is widely used by people who just starting out with their business simply looking for a free email marketing platform. It is great for beginners because of its ease of use and extremely competitive pricing. It is perfect for your hobbyists.

But that comes at a cost. While MailChimp does have all the features you would expect form an email marketing platform (email builder, contact segmentation, autoresponders, service and app integrations, timezone support, A/B testing and lots of templates, it is in the core of it’s heart a newsletter mailer.

While MailChimp is constantly evolving, adding new features in an attempt to compete with his upcoming rivals, these features often do not live up compared to their promise and the market standard.

Their support, while available via live chat and email, is notoriously known for its slow response time and when compared to others in the market, not even getting close.

Don’t get me wrong, MailChimp is an amazing deal for some, but definitely not for all.

It reminds me at an old saying “Coming for free is too expensive”.

The free plan does NOT include many of the features essential to one looking for a email marketing platform such as send time optimization, delivery at time zone or A/B testing. You can argue that it’s fair as it’s for free. In my view, other platforms do offer much better value when growing your list to 5,000+.


How much does it cost?

Talking about cost. The forever free plan includes up to 10,000 email for up to 2,000 subscribers and 30-days only email support.

Paid plans start at shy of $10/month for up to 50,000 subscribers. MailChimp now also offers a ‘Pay-As-You-Go plan’. Details are at the bottom of the their pricing page.

MailChimp does not offer any trial or money-back guarantee given their free plan.


9. MailerLite

MailerLite is relatively new in the market. It has made a niche its area of expertise: simplicity. Its mission is to provide easy, fast and simple email marketing essentials for marketers and business owners who don’t want unnecessary features. 


Who should use this email marketing platform?

Keeping it simple. No unnecessary features or complicated processes. This platform is equally made for freelancer, business owner or website owners who want to keep it quick and simple. 

MailLite is simple to use, especially for absolute beginners. The user interface is intuitive, minimalistic, simply clean. You will find everything you need to get started at a fingertip. Creating your fist email is probably the fastest from all platforms.

The included templates are basic, minimalistic, modern and flexible. Advanced features or analytics you will search unavailingly, there are none, by design.


How much does it cost?

MailerLite offers a free account for up to 1,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails/month. The paid plans start at $10/month for 1,000 subscribers and unlimited emails when you pay monthly or $7/month on an annual plan.

A 14-days trial period including all premium features is available. There is no money-back guarantees as the forever free account will give you sufficient time to test.



10. Newsletter2Go

Newsletter2Go a sendinblue company is the second most popular email marketing platform in the German-speaking markets. Founded in 2011 in Germany, their growth is breathtaking.


Who should use this email marketing platform? 

Newsletter2Go is built for small and midsized businesses. Build on the principle of compact and simple, it’s powerful enough for the big enterprises also. Its core pillars are email campaigns, content management and intelligent reporting. 

Designing beautiful emails doesn’t need to be complicated. Simply pick your favorite template and use the drag-and-drop editor to organize your content. 

All their templates are responsive, so you can rest assured your emails will be mobile-ready from the outset. Torn between two versions? Find your winner with A/B testing. Newsletter2Go will automatically identify and send out the best-performing variant.

Unlimited Contacts, Easily Managed. Import your contacts in just a few clicks and leave the rest to them. Sit back and enjoy automated list management.

With countless free plug-ins, you can seamlessly integrate your favorite CMS, CRM and e-commerce platforms. 

Want to create more targeted campaigns? Segment your contacts based on common attributes, and hit them with content they’ll really love.

Newsletter2Go offers real-time analytics. For every campaign you launch a holistic, easy-to-read report will be generated. You can easily keep track of all your most important KPIs – from delivery and open rate to CTR and conversions. 


How much does it cost?

Newsletter2Go offers a free account for up to 1,000 subscribers and 1,000 emails/month. The paid options start with $20/month for up to 1,000 subscribers, unlimited emails on a monthly and 10% discount on an annual plan.

Register for free forever. There is no money-back guarantee as there is a free forever plan.



How does each platform score?

Score Table

Final Thoughts: Whats is the best email marketing platform?

While we have tested the 10 most popular email marketing platforms based on our own experience and client feedback, there are many others out there in the market.

Most offer similar services and the right one for you might vary on your personal and business requirements and likings.

We want to help you make a decision based on measurable criteria when it comes to choosing the right email marketing platform for your business.  To us, there are three selection criteria: Deliverability, Ease of Use, ROI.

Based on these three measurements, ActiveCampaign is our winner.


ActiveCampaign, while a bit more difficult to work with in the beginning, offers the best balance between all three measurements. The time it takes you to get used to the user interface and workflow, is totally out-width by the number one ranking in deliverability and cost. 

The number one goal of any email marketing platform is to send emails to potential and existing clients inbox, not their spam folder. You don’t want to have the need to explain your subscribers that they have to add you to their contact list or white label in their email software or anything else. You simply want your email marketing software to send your emails fast and reliable to your contacts.

Also very important is the support and community. If something goes wrong or you have an idea and want to validate it with other likeminded people, you want a platform which is widely spread and commonly accepted. ActiveCampaigns scores here 5 out of 5 as well. Their support is incredible and there are several communities out there to exchange ideas and get fast response.

If you want something that is scalable, providing you with the best return-on-investment, sign-up with ActiveCampaign free trail today.

We spend quite some time building the list above to help you make the right decision for your business. Remember that free is not always the least expensive option. While most provider offer the possibility to migrate from another platform, some even for free, it will cost you, the business money.

Migrating from one platform to another is in most cases not straight forward. While you can relatively easily migrate your list as csv-file from your old to the new platform, often customization, automation, forms etc. can not, and you have to painfully set everything up again from scratch.

While it is more important to get started with your email automation and stop leaving money on the table, it is equally important to make an educated decision.

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Until next time,




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