When it comes to email marketing software, there are a ton of options out there and deciding which one is best for you can be hard. Choosing the wrong one can mean a ton of work migrating platforms down the track, so it’s important to get this right from the start!
But with so much choice, how do you decide which email marketing software is best for your business without spending countless hours trialing them all?
In this article, we’ll share with you what we’ve learned from successfully running our business on several of the leading email marketing platforms and give you our top recommendations (and why) for the best email software available in 2020.
Important: When available, we use affiliate links and may earn a commission!
Email Marketing Platforms Available in 2020
Email marketing platforms come in all shapes and sizes so it’s important to understand what your business’s requirements are before you dive in. Do you need a simple solution that has easy-to-use email funnels or do you need something with more functionality and customizable automations? Every business is different, so getting something that works for you is important.
We’ve tried and tested numerous email platforms that cover a range of different features and functionality, all with varying degrees of complexity. Here are some of the ones we’ve tested out:
GetResponse, MailChimp, Sendy, Drip, Infusionsoft (aka. Keap),
Recommended Email Marketing Tools
At a glance, ConvertKit and ActiveCampaign are similar in terms of their intuitive design and simple interface, but the differences in their overall complexity and customizability mean that they cater to a completely different type of user. Understanding which one is best for you will ultimately depend on your requirements, but we’ll explain everything you need to know to make the right call for your business.
Fundamentally – ConvertKit and ActiveCampaign tick several boxes for us:
✓ They are intuitive and easy to use.
✓ They have a user-friendly interface that isn’t too overwhelming or complicated.
✓ They have great email funnels and built-in automations.
✓ They have an extensive list of integrations, so you can connect them up with many of your existing systems & software.
✓ They also have fantastic customer support.
One of the main reasons why we love both ConvertKit and ActiveCampaign is because they’re based on a subscriber-centric approach, which means that you’re only paying for a subscriber/email address once.
In comparison, some of the other services are list-based which means that if a subscriber is on multiple lists, then you’re paying for that one-person multiple times. The value of this feature to our business has been exponential because as our email list grows, the cost of it doesn’t explode.
Now let’s dive into a few more of the specific pros and cons of each email tool.
Why use CovertKit?
ConvertKit is our go-to recommendation for anyone looking for email marketing software that is simple, unintrusive and easy to use. If you’re unlikely to want complex email funnels or intricate automations, then ConvertKit is perfect for those looking for a straight-forward approach to delivering their email communications.
- It’s an easy-to-use to automation.
- It has a basic, built-in landing page feature that is enough to get you up and running quickly with your email marketing campaigns.
- It has basic automations that are easy to understand, yet still perform all of the primary tasks you’d want out of an email system.
- It has a simple, visual automation builder which allows you to understand the user journey as you step through a specific workflow.
- It has far fewer options when it comes to automations than many of its competitors (meaning less control and customization than ActiveCampaign), but it is intentional with its service as a no-fuss email marketing tool.
- It is entirely tagged based, meaning there is no ability to add subscribers to multiple lists. By comparison, ActiveCampaign allows you to use both.
The free plan includes basic email marketing tools but does not include visual automation funnels or automated email sequences. The complete plan starts at $29 per month for up to 1000 subscribers, with the monthly fee scaling up as your list grows.
Why use ActiveCampaign?
ActiveCampaign is our go-to recommendation for anyone looking for email marketing software that is more advanced and customizable than ConvertKit. ActiveCampaign has a huge range of options and features that offer users an incredible amount of flexibility. If automations are important to you and you don’t want to be hitting any limits as your business grows, then ActiveCampagin is going to be the best tool for you.
- It has an easy-to-use interface with more advanced options than ConvertKit.
- It has a simple, built-in CRM system which allows you to manage your customers and track their history and interactions all in the one place.
- You can build out pro level and advanced level automations that are simple to set up and manage.
- It has a feature that can trigger specific actions such as adding people into custom audiences on Facebook or creating custom webhooks.
- It has the ability to integrate with your website and track events or link clicks back to a specific email subscriber.
- It uses both tags and lists which creates an extra layer of control and is vital if your business has an advanced subscriber management and automation strategy.
- It does not have a built-in landing page feature like ConvertKit (but it does integrate well with leading 3rd party landing page builders like Leadpages, Thrive Themes, WordPress, and many other platforms).
- The email editor is a little clunky and does require some extra effort to understand how it works.
Starting at $9 per month, the lite plan can be used for up to 500 email subscribers and also includes access to their killer feature – marketing automation. If you need more technical tools or have up to 1000 subscribers, the plus plan starts at $17 per month.
Ultimately though, for MOST users – the lite plan should be more than enough (it’s the marketing automation that you really want!)
Selecting the Best Email Marketing Software for You
If automations are important to you and you want your email marketing software to scale as your business grows, ActiveCampaign is our top recommendation. We use ActiveCampaign for everything, from simple email funnels to building out entire business processes; it’s been pivotal in the growth of Primal Video. If you’re looking to grow your business on YouTube, you can read more here.
On the other hand, if you’re not planning on needing more advanced automation features and you’d prefer a more simplistic tool that gets the job done ‘nice and easy’, then you will most likely enjoy using ConvertKit. This is our go-to recommendation for anyone who is ‘non-tech’ minded and looking for an email tool that is easy to use for basic email marketing.
So there you have it; our top two email marketing platforms depending on your needs and your business’s requirements.
Looking to take your email marketing to the NEXT LEVEL? See our free workshop: 3 STEPS TO BUILD AN EMAIL LIST GROWTH ENGINE WITH VIDEO!
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