Tons of price plans, complex-looking email automation, differences in deliverability rates… It can be hard to select the best newsletter tool. Which is why our team has put together a selection of the best solutions currently available, all carefully ranked and organized.
Hopefully you’ll come out with a clear idea of which email marketing service to choose next!
- Isn’t Email Marketing Dated?
- Why Building an Email List Is Important for Your Affiliate Site
- How Do I Pick the Best Email Marketing Software?
- 1. Aweber
- 2. Constant Contact
- 3. GetResponse
- 4. SendinBlue
- 5. ConvertKit
- 6. MailChimp
- 7. Drip
- 8. Active Campaign
- 9. MailerLite
- 10. MoonMail
- 11. Newsletter2Go
- How to Promote Affiliate Marketing Products to Your Email List
- Successful Affiliate Marketers Share Several Traits
Isn’t Email Marketing Dated?
It is indeed old, but it doesn’t mean it’s ineffective. In fact, its maturity can be a strong indication that it’s here to stay. Look at the following pros:
- Lifespan: Consider Friendster, MySpace or Google+. Social media platforms can come and go. An email address? People tend to hang on to the same one for an average of 10 years.
- Data insights: Facebook and other social media tools are primarily advertising platforms. The data on their users is a goldmine they aren’t willing to share. With email marketing, you control everything you get to know about your users.
- Flexibility: once you’ve got your address list, it’s easy to switch providers. All you need is to export/ import the list via CSV.
- Ease of use: 10 years ago? Those systems were complex beasts. Today, it takes two seconds to integrate a sign up form, create a template and email everyone. It will certainly be faster to send your first newsletter than to create an ad campaign on Facebook or Twitter.
As you can see, email marketing is still a robust and reliable workhorse. And as we mentioned in the last point above, the platforms are increasingly easy to use for complete beginners. Best of all, many of them come with free plans so you can test the waters before spending money on the solution.
Why Building an Email List Is Important for Your Affiliate Site
Simply put, a subscriber list contains email addresses that you have permission to contact on a regular basis. This list is fully yours – that is, you have complete ownership – and is an essential resource for affiliate marketers and businesses.
A key benefit of building an email list is the ability to streamline the marketing process, as you can direct the majority of your marketing efforts there. However, you’ll likely see two additional benefits:
- An increase in income. With an email list, you can use it as a way to offer special deals or promote your latest products. A connection between you and your subscribers will also make conversions more likely.
- Improved site traffic. An email list enables you to send alerts to subscribers, including content notifications. This can result in higher amounts of targeted traffic to your site.
How Do I Pick the Best Email Marketing Software?
Nowadays, most email marketing software is designed to perform a range of functions beyond simply sending emails and newsletters. Which features are an absolute must? Here’s our list of the key things you should be looking for:
- Drag and drop editor: An easy-to-use visual editor that will let you customize your email templates (without any coding) is your best bet for getting campaigns sent out quickly and efficiently
- Different campaign types: Your software should be able to support a range of email types, including regular newsletters, A/B tests, and autoresponders
- Marketing automation: Whether you need just simple autoresponders or more targeted automated campaigns, it’s important to make sure that your software can cater to your automation needs
- Sign-up forms: A good newsletter tool will allow you to create your own form to capture subscribers, which can either be embedded on your site or hosted on a separate landing page
- Integrations: Your email software needs to be able to link up to your other key applications – e.g. your blog, online store, CRM, and analytics tool
- Deliverability: What good is a newsletter service if your emails don’t get past the spam filters?
- Support: A thorough knowledge base, email support and live chat/phone support are all ideal. Not all tools provide all these channels, though
Aweber is an email marketing solution that’s meant to be simple as well as powerful.
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Aweber is an email marketing solution that’s meant to be simple as well as powerful. It includes features such as drag-and-drop editors, email newsletters, HTML templates, email automation, tagging, and a hub for team members to use.
Aweber comes with a free 30-day trial period. After that, the program costs around $20 per month for accounts that have up to 500 subscribers, with unlimited emails. Plans with more features go up in price to $149 per month for accounts with 10,0001-25,000 subscribers, and there’s an option for a quote for companies who need more.
One nice thing for affiliate marketers is that Aweber sends you an email every time one of your referrals makes a purchase.
2. Constant Contact
Constant Contact is one of the largest and fastest growing email marketing service in the world. It is also the most easy to use and beginner friendly email marketing service.
You can easily manage your email lists, contacts, email templates, marketing calendar, and more.
Each account gives you access to easy tracking and reporting, built-in social media sharing tools, free image library, list segmentation, Facebook ads integration, and a powerful eCommerce integration for Shopify stores.
Their Email Plus accounts also come with powerful features like email automation, surveys & polls, coupons, online donations, and subject line A/B testing which helps you send targeted emails to maximize your open rate.
Constant Contact offers unmatched support with live chat, phone calls, email, community support, and a vast library of helpful resources.
Aside from online training, they also offer in-person live seminars across the United States. This allows small businesses to quickly learn the basics of email marketing and start using it to grow their business like a pro.
For all the reasons above, we rate Constant Contact the best email marketing service for small businesses.
Constant Contact has a 60-day free trial (no credit-card required). After that their pricing starts as low as $20/month.
GetResponse is more than an online marketing platform for email marketing. It comes with additions like landing page creator and webinar solution.
GetResponse has a user base of over 350,000 and acts as an all-in-one marketing platform.
It’s equipped with some unique features like the ability to create landing pages and webinars. Taken on their own it’s not super useful, but combining them with email marketing can help you grow your email list like crazy.
To create your emails you’ll be using an intuitive drag and drop builder.
It also has all the advanced features you’ve come to expect like, list segmentation, A/B testing, autoresponders, and software integrations. There’s even a cool feature called Perfect Timing, which will help to predict the perfect time of day to send out emails to increase open rates.
If you’re having trouble using the service there’s a library of in-depth guides for you to peruse. Or, you can get in touch with support via email, live chat, and phone.
If you want to test out the service there’s a 30-day free trial where you’ll get access to all of the features. There is no money-back refund since it’s a pay as you go service.
If you’re looking to save money, then pay for a year at a time and get 18% off, or pay for two-years and get 30% off.
SendinBlue is a complete SMS and email marketing software for businesses. They are one of the fastest growing email marketing platforms in Europe.
It is an extremely easy to use platform with excellent tools to create beautiful and highly engaging emails. Their simple drag and drop tools are perfect for beginners with no experience in email marketing.
SendinBlue includes beginner-friendly automation tools that allow you to send transactional emails, create workflows, and segment users. It can also select the best time to send bulk emails using their AI algorithms to ensure maximum email deliverability.
SendinBlue offer a completely free email marketing plan that lets you send up to 300 emails per day, but all your emails will have their branding. Paid plans start from $25 per month. You can also include SMS to your account, but the pricing will vary based on your sending requirements.
They have improved their premium plan to recently include more advanced features like landing page builder, live chat, CRM, and Facebook ads integration. This means users now get more value for the same price.
SendinBlue also offers a separate SMTP bulk email marketing service which you can use to power automated or transactional emails from your WordPress site. You do not need this for email marketing campaigns, but it’s a nice to have feature if you have a large website, and you want automatic content based emails.
ConvertKit sells email marketing software services that help small business owners grow their target audiences.
ConvertKit sells email marketing software services that help small business owners grow their target audiences. The services include forms that allow browsers to opt into email lists from the web pages they’re looking at.
Emails can be tagged, segmented, personalized, and automated, so they feel like a one-on-one conversation. This software integrates well with platforms such as Zapier and Shopify.
Mailchimp is now one of the world-leading solutions in email marketing. Maybe it’s thanks to their generous free offer: you can send up to 10,000 emails per month to 2,000 subscribers, with only a small footer ad. The premium plans, on the other hand, come with advanced marketing features such as automations.
They regularly add new features to the platform. Social media features are great, and so is the quality of the support (for paid subscriptions). You can easily customize the email templates and subscription forms.
Where they can improve: The interface can be confusing as certain features are pretty hidden (e.g. registration forms). Even if the free plan is generous, premium prices are fairly steep compared to the competition.
Who Mailchimp is for: Users who want a great free and easy way to use email marketing service.
Drip is a relatively new email marketing provider. Their core demographic is bloggers, marketers, and eCommerce site owners.
Not only is this tool very beginner-friendly but it’s intelligent marketing automation tools really outshine what else is out there on the market.
If you’re an eCommerce store owner, or you sell multiple different digital products, then Drip is a solid choice. You’ll be able to build a deep understanding of customer intent and purchasing behavior, with the ability to track metrics like:
For example, if you run an eCommerce store you’ll be able to create messages that are based on metrics like:
- Returning visitors vs new visitors
- Visitors who abandoned their cart
- People who clicked on an email link vs those who didn’t
But, it doesn’t stop there you’ll also find integrations for WordPress, WooCommerce, and have the ability to send follow up text messages, Facebook ad integration, and more.
Who should use this email marketing software:
Basically, if you sell a lot of products (digital or physical) and want to create complex marketing sequences without pulling your hair out, then this tool might be for you.
8. Active Campaign
A self-described all-in-one marketing platform, ActiveCampaign’s main goal is to help you send fewer emails with better results. To that end, the American provider clearly focuses on automations. None of the other tools we’ve tested come near them in that field. With ActiveCampaign, you can automate everything based on your website visitors’ behavior with complex if/when/then logic. The CRM also makes it easy to manage sales directly from the backend.
Great design with clean, responsive themes. The automations, as mentioned above, are absolutely some of the best around. The prices are reasonable, and support is excellent, plus it comes via email or live chat. Also, great deliverability rates.
Where they can improve: The amount and complexity of the features can be a bit overkill for complete beginners.
Who ActiveCampaign is for: Power users who need complete control over their automations. Small businesses have a lot to gain by turning their email communications into sales channels with ActiveCampaign.
MailerLite is one of the youngest tools on this list. It’s also one of the simplest, but don’t let this simplicity fool you. A lot of email marketing tools pile on the features, MailerLite strips things down to what’s essential.
This simple service has caught on, however, as they serve a wide international audience and the tool is available in multiple languages.
It’s very easy to use, beginner’s rejoice! The interface is intuitive and you can create emails pretty quickly. There are some basic and flexible templates and are modern and minimalist.
There aren’t any super-advanced automation or analytics features, however. It’s best for users who want to keep things simple.
Who should use this email marketing software?
Freelancers, website owners, and small businesses who want an affordable solution that’s easy to use.
MoonMail is an all-in-one communication company that goes beyond email marketing to include channels such as WhatsApp, SMS, Voice, and more.
MoonMail is an all-in-one communication company that goes beyond email marketing to include channels such as WhatsApp, SMS, Voice, and more. This company promotes its email campaigns as affordable, easy to use, and able to get beyond spam folders.
The services cost around $21 per month for the Lite version and $149 per month for the Starter version. There’s a free 14-day trial for the Lite subscription as well as a 30-day refund policy for customers who aren’t satisfied.
German email service provider Newsletter2Go may be much younger compared to other tools (it’s only been around since 2011), but in that time it has established itself as a solid and versatile tool. Offering both subscription plans and pay-as-you-go credits, it’s a cost-effective option for those who send emails just once a month, as prices are based on email sends rather than number of subscribers.
Features include responsive email templates, autoresponders, and advanced list management, which is especially useful for agencies working with multiple clients.
What we like: The free plan comes with 1,000 emails per month. Servers are located in Germany and they abide by strict EU regulations, making it ideal for European customers (and those concerned by data protection). They have okay deliverability rates.
Where they can improve: Features like the autoresponder and forms are still somewhat basic. And the pay-per-email-send model may not suit those whose email sending volumes change from month to month.
Who Newsletter2Go is for: Anyone looking for a simple but solid email marketing service.
How to Promote Affiliate Marketing Products to Your Email List
They key is to be able to drive traffic to your website, build and maintain a subscriber list of raving fans to which you can demonstrate value and expertise, and follow up with them on a regular basis with good quality content and related offers for them to purchase.
When it comes to email marketing, this doesn’t have to be something difficult to do. You can simply send emails as if you are talking directly to a friend, prospect, or customer. Conversational emails tend to do well vs more polished “professional” emails, so you don’t have to worry about spending a lot of time trying to come up with slick emails.
Not only that, what’s great is that plain text e-mails often work best. They’re easy on the eyes and convey a sense of honesty and authenticity to your reader. All too often, affiliate marketers get carried away with fancy new tactics that attract attention but do not convert into sales.
You don’t have to spend a lot of time or money having a fancy newsletter with nice graphics created, just send a plain-text email to your prospects and customers like you would to a friend.
Consider some of these tried and true tricks for your upcoming e-mail campaigns:
- Highlight the products’ benefits for your subscriber without being verbose. You’re not writing a novel or even a full-blown sales letter. Not necessary to list features.
- Be concise with your pitch and avoid excessive repetition.
- Personalize your recommendation (Why do YOU recommend this product?). Mention your results and other buyers’ positive results with the product.
- Don’t overdo the links! One affiliate link halfway through the text and a second link near the end of the text is a good way to go.
- Combine e-mails with other promotion methods like product reviews and bonuses.
Successful Affiliate Marketers Share Several Traits
- They are consistent with their relationship marketing efforts, meaning they are emailing their list, writing a new blog post, and/or touching their audience in some way at least once per week at a minimum. Never feel like you are “annoying” your list as long as you are delivering good value and relevant offers that can help them.
- They are persistent when putting together a campaign, but wise enough to know when to let it go and move on to other things. The best marketers use tools to measure and evaluate their performances and are open to criticism and suggestions from subscribers and colleagues. Never get discouraged if your great idea for a marketing idea fails, simply move on to the next one.
- Successful affiliate marketers measure beyond just money. How will you know that you’ve become a successful affiliate marketer? The number cruncher in you may raise your hand and say, “When I make X dollars per month every month for a number of years.” Hard to argue with that, since making money online is a strong motivator. However, why not measure success by the number of lives you touch in a positive fashion by introducing them to your affiliate products? Chances are that the money will follow.
For affiliate marketers, email marketing can provide increased conversions and improved site traffic. Affiliate marketing is all about relationships, and connecting with your email list regularly using a quality solution enables you to get closer to a potential sale.