Email Marketing Software – Which Platform is Best for Your Business? - Marketing Channel

Email Marketing Software – Which Platform is Best for Your Business?


The Email Marketing Software platforms featured below have been reviewed by Marketing Channel and are our top recommendations for this technology category.

Which Email Marketing Software is Best for Your Company?

By now most companies have realised that their email marketing software is arguably still the most profitable resource in their marketing toolbox. The current return on investment as reported by the Direct Marketing Association UK is $38 for every $1 spent. 

Email marketing is thus highly cost effective and does not require a large budget to reach the the right target audiences and produce profitable revenue returns, whilst at the same time making your communications more personalised and relevant.

The top priority with any email marketing campaign is to drive user engagement, using email list segmentation ensures that you are providing the right prospects with the information and offers most relevant to them. 

What can you use email marketing software for?

Newsletters to keep customers updated about new products and developments at your company
Content marketing, it is very effective to distribute new blog posts and repurpose older article content
Build marketing and sales automation systems that are based on a follow-up series of emails for lead nurturing
Transactional emails based on a purchase the client has made to confirm the transaction and thank them as well as encourage them to shop again
Make offers to prospective clients that have opted in to your list
Provide product knowledge and course material about your products
Promotional campaigns to announce new product launches and upcoming sales prior to the start of the event, and during the event
Client survey emails to find out what your clients wants and needs are

Which email marketing software will suit your needs the best?

In evaluating and recommending the email marketing software services below, we used the following criteria:

Ease of use and getting started
Additional service offerings that complement email marketing including landing pages and CRM
Marketing automation
Responsiveness, 43% of people read their email on mobile devices
Which type of business is it best suited for
Cost effectiveness
Integration with other platforms
Available templates and overall email design features
Click tracking and analytics
Scalability in terms of number of contacts, multiple list and campaigns

The recommendations based on user categories are:

Best for small business: GetResponse
Best for bloggers and affiliate marketers: Drip
Best for ecommerce: MailChimp
Best for marketing automation: ActiveCampaign
Overall recommendation: GetResponse

Pricing Notice

Prices are known to fluctuate. However, the links within the reviews are continuously updated to bring you access to the latest pricing and special discounts where applicable.


GetResponse Email Software

GetResponse is the ideal software for bloggers and corporates alike. It is easy to use and has many features that can help you get of to a flying start with your email marketing. The drag-and-drop editor, image editor, 1000+ stock photos and 700+ creative templates makes design a breeze.

As your needs grow and you require additional services, you can upgrade to bigger more feature rich packages. The starting price for the beginners package is around $15 per month, this allows for 1000 visitors per month and includes one landing page for lead creation purposes.

GetResponse has recently added marketing automation to its offering, which was sorely lacking in the past and with that reclaims its position as the recommended email marketing software to get started with.

The primary functionalities that GetResponse offers are:

Email marketing - templates, web forms, list builders, exit pop-ups, squeeze pages, list imports, send time optimisations and more 
Landing pages - landing page builder, advanced optimisation tools, 100+ templates plus custom hosting is available on upgrades
Marketing automation - work flows with "if" "then" logics, tags, automation segmentation
Webinars - send invites, reminders and follow-up emails automatically (pro package and up only)


ActiveCampaign Logo

When it comes to marketing automation ActiveCampaign is the standout performer in the low cost starter category. There is an easy to use visual campaign editor, which enables the user to drag and drop workflows based on their tagging requirements and thus facilitates dynamic customer journey management.

The Lite package starts at $9 per month for 500 contacts and includes unlimited sending. The Plus package that starts at $49 per month offers CRM functionality with sales automation added to it.

ActiveCampaign is perfect for small to medium enterprises as well as freelancers.

The primary functionalities that ActiveCampaign offers are:

Email marketing - drag and drop interface, mobile friendly, free templates, free image hosting and data driven segmentation
Marketing automation - campaigns on autopilot, smart email content variation, complete segmentation with advanced logic
CRM and sales - automatically nurture, and advance, and close on deals, lead scoring and behavioral data
App integrations - more than 150 app integrations including PayPal, Unbounce, Woocommerce, Freshbooks and Shopify


Drip Logo

Drip has recently been purchased by LeadPages and provides the ideal service for optimising sales funnel and landing page driven drip campaigns. Their free training is fantastic and will turn any newbie into a pro email marketer in no time. They offer a more hands-on approach to marketing conversion, which even includes a concierge copywriting service.

Designed for bloggers and businesses.

There is a free sign-up for upto 100 contacts and thereafter the price goes from $41 per month upwards.

The primary functionalities that Drip offers are:

Complete email marketing automation suite - advanced forms, segmentation, lead scoring and very easy user interface
Widgets - plugs right into your website for email and lead capture, WordPress plug-in comes standard
Workflows and campaigns - easy to design and manage, move customers between funnels depending on their actions
App integrations - works with most recognised payment gateways, landing page builders, shopping carts and CRM systems


MailChimp Logo

Mailchimp is probably the world largest email marketing software service and the reason for this is that it has a irresistible free offer for first time email marketers. The functionality is limited with the free plan but you are allowed 2000 contacts and 12 000 free emails per month.

So if budget is a little tight or you are risk averse to email marketing, then MailChimp is a good place to start. On the downside, you may outgrow MailChimp soon, if business based marketing automation is what you are essentially aiming for.

Perfect for start-ups, small e-commerce stores and big online retailers, with Shopify, Magento, Bigcommerce and Woocommerce integration.

The primary functionalities that MailChimp offer are:

Full email marketing suite - with some really beautiful design templates
Marketing automation - based on behavior, preferences and previous sales
Connect your store - which allows you to create targeted Facebook and email campaigns

Leon Swartz

Leon Swartz is the CEO of FRONTPAGE Media and a professional Digital Marketer. He has been in the media industry since 1994, when he started his first publishing company. He is the publisher of over 150 business books, directories and consumer publications. During the past 12 years, Leon has established and proven himself in the fields of digital marketing, website strategy, lead generation, inbound marketing, product design, product positioning, branding, promotional marketing, creative concepts, copywriting and growth consulting. In addition, Leon has been the founder and CEO of various successful South African media businesses.

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Alex - June 20, 2017

Thanks for the summary. I’m really considering GetResponse especially that they now have marketing automation.

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