Top 30 Email Marketing and Automation Software Tools [2018] - Barcode Brand Consulting

Top 30 Email Marketing and Automation Software Tools [2018]

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Top 30 Email Marketing and Automation Software Tools [2018]

I’m the head of marketing for a tech company in San Francisco and the cofounder @ GrowthMarketingPro.com

Latest posts by Mark Spera (see all)

According to Campaign Monitor, users are 45x more likely to come in contact with your marketing if it is sent via email as opposed to social media.

What is email marketing?

Email marketing refers to mass email sent from marketers or salespeople to customers or prospects.

Seems simple enough.

Yet the variety of software tools and services available makes it confusing…

I figured this out when I launched my startup, BeGood in 2012.

Choosing from the millions of options was overwhelming. Plus, email marketing tools have a learning curve. I didn’t want to make the wrong choice!

The questions you may be asking yourself:

I’ve now used nearly every email marketing software under the sun. So I’m going to clear it up: the pros, the cons, advice for small and large businesses, and pricing.

You’ll learn exactly what each tool does and get the facts to decide whether it’s right for you, your business’ size and needs. 

This post breaks down the email tools into 4 different categories.

It will be easiest to browse once you’d identified yourself as a marketer, a sales person, or just someone looking to send mass emails from their personal account.

Email tools for Marketers

Email Tools for Sales People

Email Tools for Anyone

Depending on your role you’ll likely need at least one of these tools to achieve your goals. 

Email Marketing Software

Email marketing software enables you to make beautiful emails and send them to your customer lists — and they’re usually pretty easy to use tools. 

The numbers don’t lie: According to studies done by Radicati, the year 2019 will see 3.8 billion email users worldwide – up over 100 million from the previous year. ExactTarget found in a 2012 survey that 91% of online consumers use email at least once a day. This statistic has no doubt held since then.

Email marketing software is generally the right solution for bloggers, online consultants, small businesses, small tech startups and other businesses with pretty straightforward email marketing needs.

If you want to 1) make pixel-perfect email “newsletters” to send to an audience of subscribers or 2) make“triggered” emails based on the behaviors of your audience, you’re looking for email marketing software.

These are the 13 email marketing software tools you should know about.

1. ConvertKit

Convertkit is one of the newest tools for email marketing. It’s very simple and flexible to use. It really is for entrepreneurs, small businesses, small and medium size startups and bloggers. No Fortune 500 companies run on ConvertKit… I feel safe making that claim. 

ConvertKit is great for converting customers using simple email marketing automation.

The most common use cases for ConvertKit include setting up an evergreen sales funnel, sending customers triggered communications based on actions on site or creating automation journeys to analytically pick the best emails to send to your customers at the best time.

Pros

Cons

The pricing is dependent on the number of subscribers your business has. $29 monthly is the lowest package for businesses with less than 1,000 subscribers. If you have a bigger list, they have a calculator that estimates the monthly rate for you.

ConvertKit is on par with MailChimp and some of the others based on price. 

2. MailChimp

MailChimp is pretty famous for its great marketing, charming design aesthetic and a free plan. The software is relatively easy to use with easy navigation tools, a fast and simple editor, customization tool and a wide range of templates to choose from.

It’s one of the best known email marketing softwares. It’s perfect for small bloggers, small businesses and businesses that just need a good “newsletter” email marketing solution.

It’s definitely one of the simplest to use tools out there.

Pros

Cons

The pricing ranges from $0 for 2,000 subscribers or less, to $240 for 50,000 subscribers on a monthly basis. 

3. GetResponse

GetResponse has a pretty comprehensive feature set for small businesses, bloggers and small startups alike. 

I love that the same email marketing software also has features for webinars, the ability to make landing pages and even create some marketing automation journeys. 

GetResponse is simple and it’s a solid option for many email marketers.

Pros

Cons

$15 for 1,000 subscribers or less and the highest $450 for an email list of between 50,000 and 100,000 subscribers. The “Pro” and “Max” packages are priced much higher. 

Constant Contact has been around forever. They were founded as Roving Software in 1995 and changed their name to the equally average-sounding name, Constant Contact in 2005.

It’s a good tool for small businesses that want a simple solution. It’s very similar to Mailchimp in function and feel.

Pros

Cons

The price varies depending on the size of your email list. Constant Contact offers Email and Plus packages where the email package ranges from $20 to $335 for the Emails package and $45 and $335 for the Plus package. 

5. ExactTarget

ExactTarget was acquired by Salesforce for 2.5 billion in 2013. It’s now part of the Salesforce Marketing Cloud. This makes it a rather upmarket product now. It’s best for medium and large businesses trying to scale email marketing automation and even send push notifications and SMS. 

Pros

Cons

You have to contact Salesforce for a price quote. Again, this is a very “enterprise” solution. 

6. Emma Mail

Emma Mail bills itself as a solution for small businesses, franchisees, universities, retailers and agencies. It’s a small business sort of tool. Emma Mail was purchased by Campaign Monitor and shares some of the same features.

Pros

Cons

Prices range from $30/month for 1000 emails and $125/month for 10,000 emails or less.

7. AWeber

AWeber is an awesome email marketing software that I recommend for small and medium size businesses, entrepreneurs, bloggers, freelancers and consultants, small-to-medium size tech companies and everything in between.

It has one of the largest suites of integrations with other tools like Salesforce, Wix, PayPal and a ton more.

The basic platform is super simple for novices who want a cheap sand simple solution that produces results. But AWeber also scales with your business to a fairly powerful tool — without the sticker shock of a tool like Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

Pros

Cons

AWeber has several pricing options with their monthly plans ranging from $19 for 500 subscribers or less and $149 for 25,000 subscribers or less.

8. SendGrid

SendGrid is a solution for medium-sized businesses on up.

Clients include Spotify, Glassdoor Airbnb, Uber, etc. They differentiate much more as a developer-friendly email tool. The SendGrid API is the main attraction — it allows web developers to send events and “communicate” with the rest of a website product or property.

SendGrid is not user-friendly for novices. Small businesses, bloggers and online entrepreneurs: stay away!

Pros

Cons

SendGrid pricing is not that clear. However, you can expect prices that range from $9.95/month for 40,000 email credits to $399.95 for 700,000 email credits. There is, also, a free plan that comes with 12,000 emails monthly.

The comprehensive features and the plans offered make iContact a good email marketing software. I’ve never used the tool myself, but it gets solid reviews on Capterra

Pros

Cons

The prices range from $14/month for the essential plan, $99/month for the professional for persons with less than 500 subscribers. The highest package goes for $99/month. Pricing is a strong suit for iContact.

This is yet another great newsletter and light automation emails. It counts Adidas and Huffington Post among its 250,000 customers. They’ve positioned themselves as a strong tool for small and medium-sized businesses — particularly ecommerce, travel companies, entertainment companies, nonprofits and media companies. 

Pros

Cons

The prices start $9/month $29/month for Unlimited. Premier starts at $149/month.  They also have a pay-per-campaign option for small businesses. 

Sendin Blue gets decent scores from Software Advice. It’s a relatively small player in email marketing software. 

Pros

Cons

The prices range from $0 for 300 emails daily to $49/month in the premium package which comes with everything. The enterprise package is, also, available where one can create a custom plan.

12. Pinpointe

Pinpointe helps you create and personalize, automate and, also, track email campaigns easily. It has access to features like autoresponders, behavioral targeting, drip campaigns, spam scoring, split testing and other customizable metrics. They call themselves a solution for small businesses that have graduated from basic email marketing tools. 

Pros

Cons

The price starts from $42/month with a free trial option. There is, also, an enterprise edition for large businesses.

This software comes with all features any small business requires for creating a successful email marketing campaign. It includes valuable tools like detailed analytics, A/B split testing, spam testing, responsive templates and designs, and autoresponders.

Benchmark is definitely a tool for small businesses.

Pros

Cons

In addition to the free starter plan, there are paid packages that start from $13.99/month to $29,200/month for businesses with over 7 million subscribers.

Email Automation Tools

Once you’ve decided to become a bit more sophisticated with your email marketing efforts, you might graduate and begin hunting for the perfect email automation tool.

Email automation tools are really for medium sized businesses and bigger. There is a lot of functionality that is likely unnecessary for smaller companies.

For Growth Marketing Pro, we do not use email automation tools and we’re doing hundreds of thousands and revenue per year and seeing 10s of thousands of website visitors per month… just to give you an idea of the scale necessary to make marketing automation tools justifiable for your business.

Email automation tools allow you to trigger emails based on events that happen on your website.

For example, if a user clicks on your pricing page and does not make a purchase, an Email Automation tool will allow you to automatically trigger an email to be sent to them at that moment, asking if they want to hop on a call to discuss pricing.

Another way you could use an email automation tool is to send Abandoned Cart emails to people who have added an item to their cart but did not complete a purchase. But again, most email marketing software (the section above) has some functionality to enable triggered automations. 

Email automation software is much more sophisticated.

The complete list of email automation tools below provide solutions to engage with your customers via email, SMS text or even by sending a postcard, all at the right moment based on a user’s unique behavior, creating a very personalized user experience.

1. ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign focuses on helping you build a good relationship with you active and potential customers. It is considered to be a hidden gem in the world of marketing automation given the price.

Active Campaign has a great user interface which makes it easy to use and it has many useful features way outside of email — including email marketing, sales and CRM functions, as well as chat/messaging. 

Pros

Cons

ActiveCampaign costs $17/month to start, but as with all email automation software tools, quickly gets expensive. Enterprise versions cost $229/month minimum.  

2. Autopilot

A simple user interface, coupled with a lot of features make Autopilot great software to use. It’s my blog partner, Hailey’s favorite tool for email automation. 

It’s used by big companies like Lyft, Atlassian and Microsoft.

Pros

Cons

The Silver plan is free, the Gold plan cost $199/month while the Platinum plan goes for $899/month. Platinum includes everything an enterprise-level business needs to dominate their engagement marketing, including 1 on 1 phone support. 

3. Iterable

Iterable has been designed to engage users through a well-structured communication and multiple channels. Iterable has gotten a lot of press. Some larger clients include Spotify, Zillow, DoorDash and Box. 

Pros

Cons

Iterable gives no payment information on site. You have to contact sales. It’s a top of the line, very expensive tool. 

4. HubSpot Marketing

HubSpot is a publicly-traded company out of Boston. They are one of the largest players in marketing automation. They offer a large swath of services in one package, much like the Salesforce Marketing Cloud. 

Pros

Cons

The primary offering is the HubSpot Marketing Hub — which costs  $800/month or more.

Much like HubSpot’s solution, the Salesforce Marketing Cloud is an all-in-one CRM and engagement marketing solution. 

Pros

Cons

The pricing is dependent on the size of your company and the industry you operate in. I’ve been quoted at $30,000 per year or more (on top of Salesforce CRM). 

Pardot helps provide deeper insights and automation for B2B companies. It was purchased by Salesforce a couple of years ago, so naturally it fits into the Salesforce CRM product effortless. 

Most of the features are very similar to Salesforce Marketing Cloud, but again is for B2B companies.

The starting price is $1,000/month, but the best features are available from $2,000/month and above.

7. SharpSpring

SharSpring provides automation solutions for a while now. They are positioned alongside Salesforce Marketing Cloud and HubSpot as an all-in-one solution.

SharpSpring is a publicly-traded company.

Pros

Cons

The prices range from $450/month for 1,500 contacts and $875/month for 20,000 contacts. They also offer true enterprise plans for agencies and companies with millions of contacts. 

8. Zoho Campaigns

I hadn’t heard of Zoho before creating this list. But it seems to be a pretty decent tool. I would say it sits somewhere between and email marketing software and an email automation software in both functionality and price. The automations are more limited than a Salesforce Marketing Cloud or a Pardot, but the features are more robust than some smaller solutions like Mailchimp.

Pros

The main feature of Zoho include automated response emails

Cons

Email-based plan ranges from $0 to $200 monthly. Subscriber-based plan ranges from $5 to $350 and email credits plan ranges from $6 to $750 per month.

9. Marketo

Adobe just acquired Marketo for over $4 billion. It’s not that surprising, as it was one of the first marketing automation tools out there. In function, it’s quite similar to Salesforce Marketing Cloud and HubSpot. 

Pros

Cons

The pricing is based on bundles with bundles available including lead management, email marketing, consumer marketing, customer-based marketing, and mobile marketing. It is very expensive and only meant for truly enterprise clients. 

The drag-and-drop feature makes it easy for users to design and customize their marking emails. Other tools that have been integrated into the system include a dashboard for delivery analytics, one-to-one optimization, A/B testing, Restful API, email automation, automated workflows, and real-time email tracking, to mention a few.

Pros

Cons

There is a free trial that allows you to send up to 6,000 emails daily. Other prices include the bronze package that starts from $7.49/month and the crystal package that starts from $21.95/month. Larger companies (the companies who should consider Mailjet) must inquire for custom pricing. 

11. InfusionSoft

InfusionSoft has billed itself as the email automation solution for small business owners. Their site advertises a lot of offline industries making their way into online marketing via InfusionSoft. For instance, the video on their sales page tells the story of a painting company bringing its business communications online.

Pros

Cons

The software has three pricing tiers starting $199/month for 500,000 emails or 5000 contacts. The $499/month premier pricing is for 100,000 contacts/500,000 emails.

Email Outreach Tools

Sometimes, you want to send out a mass email from your own personal email account.

You want it to look like a plain old regular email, but you want to include merge tags within the content so that you can send the same email to lots of people at once, but still personalize it.

You can say things like “Hi {first name}, I saw your work at {company name}.”

The complete list of Email Outreach Tools below are all quick and easy to download, often only a light Google Chrome extension on-top of your own Gmail account.

They can help you create some superhuman plain-text emails, without getting too fancy with the bells and whistles of the email marketing software in the section above. 

These tools are best for salespeople.

1. Yesware

Yesware is a great software for tracking emails and synchronizing engagement activities giving you control over your email prospecting/sales. Yesware includes unlimited email tracking tools, personal templates that allow you to send personalized emails, send later, reminders, attachment tracking, mail merge, team templates, and a trusted IP range.

Pros

Cons

Yesware has 3 packages with the cheapest plan being $12/month if billed annually or $15/month if billed monthly for the pro plan, $25 or $35/month for annual and monthly billing for the premium package and $55/month for the enterprise package which is only billed annually. The premium package comes with pro features and other additional features. Enterprise package comes with premium features and other exclusive features.

2. MixMax

MixMax is a relative newcomer, but is quickly becoming a favorite tool of marketers. It promises to power your outreach emails and engage more effectively with you active and prospective clients.

Pros

Cons

The prices are $9/month for the starter plan, $24/month for the small business plan, $49/month for growth plan and an enterprise plan whose quote is not specified. Each plan is billed annually.

3. Mailshake

Mailshake integrates with Gmail and other Google apps to help reach more people. The software creates customized emails that appear like a normal email from a Gmail address. It allows for mail automation thanks to its various templates that give one the capability of creating email campaigns that are effective.

Pros

Cons

For $19/month or $199/year, you can enjoy unlimited email sending options. There, also, is the option of getting the enterprise package.

4. Docsify

Docsify gives you the ability to identify high-quality prospects and send them customized emails to boost your chances of conversion. 

Pros

Cons

There is a free package that grants one unlimited email tracking, access to templates and text shortcuts. The pro package costs $12/month of billed monthly or $9/month if billed annually. The growth package cost $29/month for monthly billing and $24/month for annual billing.

5. MailTag.io

This is an email tracking software that allows you to know when your email recipients have received their emails, get real-time alerts when emails are clicked and tracks engagement performance.

Pros

WYSIWYG (drag and drop) email editor

Pros

Cons

A regular plan will cost you $7 or $9 monthly for annual and monthly billing respectively, the plus plan $16 and $20, and the enterprise plan $40 and $50 for annual and monthly billing respectively.

7. Gmelius

Pros

Cons

Gmelius has a free plan, a premium plan, and a business plan. The free plan comes with email tracking, email customizations and limited access to the other features. The premium plan goes for $5 or $7 per month depending on when the billing is done, while the business plan goes for $14 per month and is billed annually.

Sale Prospecting Tools

Sales Prospecting tools are email tools that are meant to be utilized primarily by sales teams.

That is because these tools provide extra identifying information about each contact, from within the email dashboard to help the team maximize efficiency and streamline their prospecting. With more information at their fingertips about prospects, they can spend more time selling and less time researching.

The complete list of Sales Prospecting Tools below includes tools that will help with prospecting, tracking effective emails and phone calls, qualifying leads and automation that will help the team engage with contacts at the right time.

1. Builtwith

Builtwith is a tool that helps in identifying sites that use specific web technologies. It identifies the technology spend, gathers the location information and vertical, among other option to create lead lists that are solid for websites by taking into account the internet footprint and technology usage.

Free individual site lookups are available.

Dux-Soup can scan through thousands of LinkedIn profiles within just one click and send connection invites. It even allows you to tag prospect and even extract and share information quick and easy with your whole team.

The free option grants users free access to some of the features.

3.   Apollo 

This is a sales platform aimed at helping sales teams generate opportunities that are qualified. Apollo maps its 160 million B2B databases to their closed won data and completed tasks providing insights on how to improve the profiles of their customers. The in-built dashboards are, also, helps in custom reporting which is beneficial to the users.

You are required to take the demo first

You get free 1,000 leads with emails that are verified and 95% guarantee on deliverability.

Industry-wide, email open rates are still well above 20%.  It remains one of the best ways to engage and convert users.

I recommend email marketing for anyone and everyone — no matter the size of the business. If you’re selling something online, you should be email marketing.

I hope this guide made your decision a lot easier. Ask questions in the comments if you’re still confused and I’ll make sure to respond.

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