10 Best Email Marketing Services for Bloggers

Email marketing has the highest ROI of any online marketing channel. So if you if you're selling anything from your website, building an email list is a must.

In this article, I review the strengths and weaknesses of ten different email marketing services (EMS).

But before I start, a quick word about what to look for in an email marketing platform.

10 Best Email Marketing Services for Bloggers

What To Look For in an Email Marketing Service

The email marketing services that's right for you what sort of online business you run.

Here are two broad categories that will help you narrow down the choice:

Blogger / Course Creator / Solopreneur

If you’re in the knowledge industry (as most bloggers are) you probably need a certain amount of automation and list management. But not nearly as much as some of the EMS platforms offer.

As a course creator or a solopreneur you almost certainly need to segment your audience using tags.

Here are some examples of where you might need to do this:

  • tag your contacts based on which category of blog post they were reading when they joined your list – you could then send them content that matches their interest
  • tag people who have already purchased your course – (a) because you don’t want to send them sales pitches for a course they already purchased and (b) because they’re potential customers for your other courses.

Here’s a list of features you would probably want in an email marketing service:

  • Automated email sequences
  • Tagging and/or segmenting
  • resend emails to non-openers
  • Rules or automations based on subscriber actions within email broadcasts
  • Trigger links (links within emails that automatically add someone to a tag)
  • Opt-in forms (both embedded and popups)
  • Create and save email templates
  • Personalization
  • Analytics/reporting
  • A/B testing
  • Survey readers

Small to Medium Business / e-Commerce website

SMBs and e-Commerce websites need more complex contact management and email automation.

For example, they may need lead scoring, where visitors are given a score according to their actions on your website and in your emails. Once that score reaches a certain threshold, the prospect is qualified as sales-ready.

Or, they may need to create complex customer journeys based on triggers. When a customer takes a specific action, the marketing automation tool sends that customer a relevant email designed to lead them through a particular funnel or journey. These email journeys are usually based on complex if/when/then logic.

Here’s a list of features that a medium business and/or e-commerce website might need (in addition to the items listed above):

  • Marketing and business process maps
  • Landing page templates and builder
  • Real-time contact activity dashboards
  • Real-time contact journey maps
  • Automated and manual tagging
  • Nurture drips
  • Real-time call alerts
  • Advanced segmentation
  • CRM integration
  • Support 24/7

So now, we've got that clear, let's see how the different email marketing services stack up.

#1 - Constant Contact

Constant Contact was founded in 1995 and is one of the early email marketing platforms. Constant Contact provides basic level email automation. For example, you can segment your list based on various subscriber actions such as clicking a link, opening an email, or engagement. You can create email sequences that are triggered by certain actions or events. And you can set the delay between each email in the sequence.

But these are not the advanced, conditional automations that you see in some other providers. And although you can segment your subscribers according to various user actions, you can’t create tags and apply them to your subscribers.

Summary of Features

  • Easy-to-use, beginner-friendly
  • Email automation
  • Audience segmenting
  • Email sequences
  • Niche-specific templates
  • Personalization, using merge fields
  • Drag-and-drop email builder
  • A/B testing of subject lines
  • Landing page builder
  • Support via live chat
  • Popups
  • Unlimited emails
  • Unlimited contacts

Standout Features

The standout features in Constant Contact are no limits on number of emails sent or number of contacts and the 60-day free trial.

Pricing

  • Email: $20 p/month
  • Email Plus: $45 p/month

'Email' includes the following:

  • Unlimited Emails
  • Customizable Templates
  • Branded or Industry Templates
  • Ecommerce Marketing Basic
  • Contact List Import
  • List-Building Tools & Welcome Email
  • Pop-Up Forms
  • List Segmentation
  • Facebook & Instagram Ads & Insights
  • Social Posting, InBox, and Monitoring
  • Google Ads
  • Landing Pages
  • Marketing Calendar

'Email Plus' comes with the following features (not included in the basic plan):

  • Automated email welcome series
  • Automated email behavioral series (trigger emails based on user behavior)
  • Subject line A/B testing
  • Dynamic content (personalize content based on city, state, job title, etc)
  • Event marketing through Eventbrite
  • Surveys
  • Polls
  • Coupons

Who’s It For

Small businesses who want to use branding in their emails and want a basic level of email automation.

#2 - Sendinblue

Sendinblue was founded in 2012, is based in France, and has a focus on SMS marketing.

The platform was originally designed for sending transactional emails but now handles advanced, condition-based, email sequences.

Sendinblue offers advanced automation and the ability to segment your audience based on their actions.mYou have access to a solid workflow builder that allows you to set the conditions that determine when automated emails will be sent.

The conditions available are quite detailed and allow you to customize your automations to a very granular level of user activity. You can use the workflow builder to create email sequences, such as a 7-day email course.

Sendinblue has a simple but robust drag-and-drop email editor.

Summary of Features

  • Beginner-friendly automation tools that allow you to create workflows and segment users
  • Drag-and-drop email editorbest time to send bulk
  • AI algorithms help you send emails at best time of day for maximum email deliverability
  • Free email marketing plan that lets you send up to 300 emails per day (with Sendinblue branding)
  • Landing page builder, live chat, CRM, and Facebook ads integration (premium plan)
  • Pricing is based on the number of emails you send (not the number of contacts)

Note that the automation features described above only come with the Premium Plan ($71 p/month). This is quite expensive considering you can get these kinds of automation features on other platforms for much less.

Standout Feature

Sendinblue's strong point is value, since pricing is based on email volume, and not contact list size. Another standout feature is the focus on SMS marketing.

Pricing

  • Free: up to 300 emails per day, unlimited contacts
  • Lite ($28 p/month): up to 40,000 emails p/month
  • Essential ($42 p/month): remove Sendinblue branding, advanced stats
  • Premium ($71 p/month): marketing automation, landing pages

Who’s It For

Good for SMBs who want a transactional email platform with good email deliverability. If those are the features you're after, Sendinblue is probably the best deal around. But if you want advanced automation, you probably need to keep looking.

#3 -Get Response

Launched in Poland in 1998, Get Response is another of the first-on-the-scene email marketing platforms. This platform has masses of beautifully organized automations, including autoresponders, segmentation, workflows, and funnels.

It’s hard to think of an automation that isn’t covered by Get Response.

The autoresponders are fairly straightforward and what you would expect. For each autoresponder you create, you can see the open rate and the click rate for each cycle (i.e. each day) in the sequence.

The workflows in Get Response are truly impressive. The list of conditions and actions that’s available seems to cover every possible scenario. You can either build your workflows from scratch or start with a template.

Summary of Features

  • Advanced workflows with pre-designed templates
  • Automatic list segmentation
  • Autoresponders
  • Drag-and-drop email builder
  • List scoring
  • A/B testing
  • Autofunnels
  • Landing pages
  • Webinars
  • Perfect Timing (predicts the best time of day to send out emails for better open rates)
  • Support by phone, live chat, and email

Standout Feature

Autofunnel – a tool with 30+ ready-made landing pages, email templates and sequences to generate sales.

Pricing

  • Basic ($15 p/month) - up to 1000 contacts
  • Plus ($49 p/month) - up to 1000 contacts
  • Professional ($99 p/month) - up to 1000 contacts

Who’s It For

Get Response is ideal for medium-sized businesses that need the full array of marketing tools. Acts as an all-in-one marketing platform.

#4 - Mailchimp

Mailchimp was founded by the Rocket Science Group in 2001 and is based in Atlanta. This is an email marketing service and content marketing service aimed at bloggers and small businesses.

Summary of Features

  • Tags
  • Segmenting based on geolocation
  • A/B testing
  • Email sequences
  • Landing pages
  • Drag-and-drop email builder
  • Email templates
  • Surveys
  • Email automations
  • Facebook/instagram ads
  • Google remarketing ads
  • Create a website
  • Social posts
  • Signup forms (embedded and popups)
  • Timewarp (time-zone based sending)

Standout Feature

Mailchimp is a robust email marketing platform that ticks all the boxes in terms of standard features. Its standout feature is the forever free plan: up to 2,000 contacts and 10,000 sends per month, with a daily send limit of 2,000.

Pricing

  • Free (up to 2000 subscribers)
  • Essentials ($9.99 p/month) 
  • Standard ($14.99 p/month)
  • Premium ($299 p/month)

Who’s It For

Mailchimp is a great option for bloggers and smaller businesses, as it comes with a free plan. Or for anyone with less than 2000 subscribers who wants a free email marketing platform.

#5 - ConvertKit

ConvertKit was founded by Nathan Barry in 2013 and is based in Boise, Idaho.

This is an email marketing service designed for writers, creators, and bloggers. It boasts some of the advanced automation features of other platforms but with a much more friendly and intuitive user interface.

Summary of Features

  • Drag-and-drop email builder (plain text)
  • Segmenting through tags
  • Visual automation builder
  • Rules that connect optin forms with sequences etc
  • Email sequences
  • Easy delivery of content upgrades
  • Re-send to non-openers
  • Landing page builder
  • Sign-up forms
  • 70+ direct integrations
  • Email support

Standout Feature

ConvertKit’s email sequence builder is the best I’ve seen – it makes it super-easy to organize your sequence, visualize it, and set the time intervals between emails.

The segmenting, tagging, and automation are also very easy to understand and use.

Another standout feature in ConvertKit is delivering content upgrades – I haven’t seen another platform that makes content upgrades so easy to deliver. It’s another example of how ConvertKit is designed for bloggers.

Pricing

ConvertKit’s pricing structure is slightly different from other email marketing platforms - the price rises according to number of subscribers, but everyone gets the same features:

  • 0 - 1K subscribers: $29 p/month
  • 1K - 3K subscribers: $49 p/month
  • 3K - 5K subscribers: $79 p/month

Who’s It For

ConvertKit's philosophy is to provide the automation and list management features that you need without overwhelming you with technology.

ConvertKit makes these tools easy to use so that you can spend your time doing what's important to you - writing, creating, and so on. In other words, it's an email marketing service for people who want advanced marketing features but don't want to get bogged down in details.

This makes it a great fit for bloggers, writers, course creators, etc.

#6 - ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign was founded by Jason VandeBoom in 2003 and is based in Chicago.

Summary of Features

  • Subscription Forms
  • Dynamic Content
  • Email Segmentation
  • Split Testing
  • SMS
  • Site Messages
  • Facebook Custom Audiences
  • Conversations
  • Win Probability
  • A/B Testing
  • Predictive Sending
  • Predictive Content
  • Site Tracking
  • Event Tracking
  • Automation Goals
  • Automation Map
  • Attribution
  • Split Action
  • Gmail Extension for Chrome
  • Contact & Lead Scoring
  • Mobile App
  •  Support via live chat or email

Standout Feature

ActiveCampaign has possibly the best visual automation builder in the industry. The level of detail in the automations allows you to automate your entire email marketing based on your website visitors’ behavior.

Pricing

ActiveCampaign’s pricing is based on number of subscribers. The price points outlined below are for a list size of 500.

  • Lite: $15 p/month
  • Plus: $95 p/month
  • Professional: $199 p/month
  • Enterprise: $340 p/month

Who’s It For

ActiveCampaign is best suited for small to medium businesses (SMBs) who want to get maximum leverage from visitor behavior so as to create highly granular marketing funnels.

The complexity that the automations allow for would only be useful or relevant on large websites with multiple product pages. For your average blogger or course creator, this platform would be overkill.

#7 - MailerLite

MailerLite was founded in 2010 and is based in Vilnius, Lithuania.

Summary of Features

  • Visual automation builder
  • Drag-and-drop email builder
  • Tagging (through ‘interest groups’)
  • Segmentation of audience
  • Email sequences
  • Signup forms (embedded and popups)
  • Landing page builder
  • Personalization
  • Auto resend
  • Deliver by time zone
  • Click maps
  • Opens by location
  • RSS campaigns

Standout Feature

MailerLite’s standout feature is simplicity. It has a clean, intuitive design and you can start using all its features with a minimum learning curve or time investment.

Pricing

  • 0 - 1000 subscribers (up to 12K email p/month): Free
  • 0 - 1000 subscribers (unlimited emails): $10 p/month
  • 1,001 - 2,500 subscribers (unlimited emails): $15 p/month
  • 2,501 - 5,000 subscribers (unlimited emails): $30 p/month
  • 5,001 - 10,000 subscribers (unlimited emails): $50 p/month

Who’s It For

MailerLite is a powerful email marketing service with e-commerce integrations. It’s ideal for freelancers, bloggers, and small businesses who want an affordable email marketing solution that’s easy to use.

This platform doesn’t offer any super-advanced features. But that may be a plus for people who don’t want to get bogged down in details and just want to get on with creating content and running their business.

#8 - Keap (InfusionSoft)

Infusionsoft was founded in 2001 by Scott and Eric Martineau and is based in Mesa, Arizona. As of January 2019, the company is known as Keap. Keap is primarily a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool that also has email marketing features.

Summary of Features

  • Dynamic content
  • Mobile appointments
  • Email templates
  • Landing Pages and Forms
  • Dynamic Content
  • A/B Testing
  • Lead Management
  • Campaign Management
  • Sign up forms
  • Success rate reports
  • AB testing
  • Auto-responders
  • Marketing ROI Analytics
  • Segmentation
  • Lead Scoring and Grading
  • Lead Nurturing
  • Online Behavior Tracking
  • Event / Webinar Marketing
  • Social Network Integration

Standout Feature

No single feature stands out in particular, but Keap is a powerful lead management tool with an impressive array of tools to help you keep track of your marketing leads.

Pricing

  • Keap Grow: $79 p/month
  • Keap Pro: $149 p/month
  • Infusionsoft: $199 p/month

Who’s It For

Keap is an advanced CRM and email marketing service. The automation builder is quite advanced and offers much more detail than the average small business, blogger or freelancer would require. Suited for SMBs with a focus on e-commerce.

#9 - Aweber

Aweber was founded in 1998 by CEO Tom Kulzer and is based in Chalfont, Pennsylvania. Aweber allows you to create automations but it doesn’t have a visual automation builder. In fact, the automation in Aweber is quite rudimentary compared with some of the other services reviewed in this article. 

The user interface in Aweber looks rather dated (compared with a platform such as MailerLite). Aweber was one of the very first email marketing platforms and this may explain why it has a slightly 1990s look-and-feel.

Summary of Features

  • Subscriber segmenting
  • Autoresponders
  • Integrations
  • Sign up forms
  • Form builder
  • A/B testing for forms
  • Split testing for email subject lines
  • Drag-and-drop email builder
  • Email templates
  • Email analytics
  • Open and click rates
  • Conversion tracking

Standout Feature

Aweber doesn't stand out from its competitors in terms of its email marketing tools. Its standout features are (1) the number of email templates it provides (over 700) and (2) the level of support: phone, email. and live chat (and no requirement to wade through a knowledge base before you can ask for help).

Pricing

Aweber’s pricing is based solely on number of subscribers – everyone gets the same features.

  • 0 - 500: $19 p/month
  • 501 - 2,500: $29 p/month
  • 2,501 - 5,000: $49 p/month
  • 5,001 - 10,000: $69 p/month
  • 10,001 - 25,000: $149 p/month

Who’s It For

Aweber is a basic but robust email marketing platform, ideal for bloggers, affiliate marketers, solopreneurs and small businesses who don’t want complex automations.

#10 - Drip

Drip was founded in 2013 by Rob Walling and was acquired by Leadpages in July 2016. Drip (and Leadpages) is based in Minneapolis.

Drip is the most beautifully designed, user-friendly, and intuitive email marketing service of all the platforms reviewed in this article. It’s so well designed, it’s actually fun to use!

Summary of Features

  • Customer insights
  • Behavior and event tracking
  • segmentation
  • Visual automation builder
  • Drag-and-drop email builder
  • Tagging
  • Revenue attribution
  • Multichannel automations
  • Flexible API
  • Email analytics
  • Unlimited users
  • Chat and email support
  • Opt-in form builder
  • Third-party integrations
  • MyDrip learning hub

Standout Feature

Every feature in Drip is beautifully designed but the standout feature is the automation builder. It’s intuitive, easy to understand and use, and beautiful to work with.

Pricing

Drip’s pricing is based on number of subscribers – at every price point, you get access to the full range of features.

  • 0 – 2500: $49 p/month
  • 2500 – 5,000: $122 p/month
  • 5,500 – 12,500: $246 p/month

Who’s It For

It’s hard to categorize Drip because it’s both advanced and beginner-friendly. Drip would be an excellent choice for anyone wanting to create complex marketing sequences. Ideal for advanced bloggers, marketers, and owners of e-commerce sites.

What’s The Best Email Marketing Service?

Now that I’ve finished reviewing the different platforms, you’re no doubt asking yourself: so which is the best email marketing service?

Well, it’s not as simple as that. Because it depends who you are and what sort of online business you’re running.

To make the task easier, I’ve divided my audience into three categories:

  • Beginning bloggers
  • Experienced bloggers
  • Small to Medium Businesses / e-Commerce websites

Beginning Bloggers

For beginning bloggers, the best choices are:

  • MailerLite
  • Mailchimp
  • Sendinblue

Mailchimp's free plan will be particularly attractive to beginning bloggers who haven't yet monetized their blog.

Experienced Bloggers

For experienced bloggers, the best choices are:

  • ConvertKit
  • Aweber
  • Drip

ConvertKit is an obvious choice for experienced bloggers who want some serious email marketing tools but don't want to be overwhelmed with technology.

Small to Medium Business / e-Commerce website

For SMBs and e-Commerce websites, the best choices are:

  • ActiveCampaign
  • Keap (Infusionsoft)
  • Constant Contact
  • Get Response

These platforms all combine email marketing with CRM. Of these four, the two platforms that stood out for me were ActiveCampaign and Get Response, because of their automation builders.

Conclusion

If you began this article wanting to know which the best email marketing service is out there, I may not have answered your question.

But at least I have narrowed down the options for you, based on what kind of online presence you have:

  • Beginning blogger
  • Experienced blogger
  • SMB / e-Commerce

I hope this article will help you zero-in on the email marketing service that’s right for you.

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Last updated on September 3rd, 2021 at 03:00 pm

Rob Powell
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