Review of the Best Email Marketing Tools

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Building a list should be your number one priority if you want to make money blogging or build an Internet business. Email marketing is still the most effective online marketing strategy today. It still works better than social media and SEO.

Using email automation tools is the easiest and best way to stay in touch with your prospects and customers. An automated email marketing system will build your list automatically and automate your email follow-up at a schedule you set. It will capture your visitors’ email addresses through your opt-in form.

An autoresponder is software that automatically responds to an email it receives at a specific email address.

But today, email automation systems do much more than that. Today, some email marketing systems provide sophisticated segmentation tools. Segmentation is important to send targeted messages to your subscribers. And different systems handle segmentation differently.

If you have different topics and products, then you’ll want to be able to send targeted messages to your subscribers and buyers. You'll want to separate subscribers from buyers and make sure you won’t promote a product to someone who has already bought it. You'll want to send different messages to buyers and subscribers who haven't bought anything from you yet. You may want to promote more expensive products to buyers than to subscribers who are new on your list.

So which email automation service is the best?

With many email marketing tools available today, which one should you use?

Which email service provider is best for you depends on your needs. It depends on the number of subscribers you plan on getting, on your experience (beginner or advanced marketer), the number of products you’re promoting, the features and functionality you need, and your budget.

For all systems, the cost goes up as you get more contacts.

You'll want a good system that will automate your email marketing but you don’t need to pay extra for features you won’t use.

Some systems provide tons of email templates. But do you need this? Keep in mind that the most successful internet marketers keep their newsletters very simple and don’t use fancy templates.

But first, find out why it’s important to choose a good email marketing service from the start

If you’re serious about Internet marketing, it’s important to choose a good email marketing service provider. Choosing a free one can cost you time, headaches, subscribers, and money. Here’s why:

  • You don’t want to change providers after you built a large list and set up a lot of email marketing campaigns and email messages.
  • It’s time-consuming to set up a bunch of campaigns and messages again with a different provider.
  • Most good email providers will require the subscribers to import to re-subscribe because of spam regulations. And you may lose some of your subscribers.
  • Also, most free email services will either add advertising to your email messages or at the very least add their branding. And that doesn’t help you build trust with your prospects.

As a web designer and internet marketer, I’ve worked with different email service providers for my clients and my own sites. I’ll review some of the most popular email automation systems here to help you decide on which one will best fit your needs.

Some of the most popular email automation systems today include ConvertKitAweberGetResponse, and MailChimp.

Send more targeted messages by segmenting your lists.

Optimizing your business funnel is the best way to increase revenue and profits because it doesn’t require you to find more visitors and prospects.

You can send more relevant content to your subscribers and send custom-tailored offers for each list by segmenting your contacts into different email lists. This is especially useful for businesses (and affiliates) that have a variety of offers that appeal to different audiences.

You can send relevant messages based on what your audience does.

Segmenting and tagging your contact list by unique interests, preferences and behaviors give you the power to send more targeted, personalized emails. By sending more targeted messages, you’ll get better open and click-through rates, you’ll connect better with your readers, you’ll gain more trust, and you’ll get loyal subscribers who are more likely to convert into sales.

Automated segmentation will also save you a lot of time. It can automatically move subscribers from one funnel to the next based on their actions. A subscriber can be tagged by an action or event. You can then use the data from the tags to segment and send more targeted emails. And this is all done automatically.

For example, when someone subscribes from a form on a specific blog post, this action can be tagged with the post category. You can then automatically add the subscriber to a complementary posts funnel and to a sales funnel for related products.

Another example is when someone purchases a specific product. Buyers can be added to complementary product funnels and to new funnels.  This makes it easy to make additional offers based on what someone has already purchased.

Some of today’s powerful email campaign builders such as ConvertKitGetResponse, Ontraport, and Infusionsoft offer sophisticated automated segmentation. (Ontraport and Infusionsoft are expensive).

Let's look at a couple of popular email marketing systems and find out which one is best suited for your needs.

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AWeber

aweber pricing table
  • 30-day free trial. Try AWeber Free
  • Aweber has a free option for up to 500 subscribers and a maximum of 3,000 emails sent per month.
  • AWeber fees start at $12.50/month for their Lite plan, $20/month for their Plus plan, and goes up to $899/month for their Unlimited plan (Please check their rates as they change often)

Here are some benefits AWeber offers:

  • AWeber offers excellent customer service that includes toll-free phone, live chat, and email support. Support is very important – especially when you first start using an autoresponder. And AWeber offers some of the best support in the industry.
  • AWeber offers 51+ great templates for email marketing that will make your email messages look professional. 
  • Great tracking to track your clicks and impressions.
  • Split testing.
  • Relatively easy to use. However, you still need to insert code in their forms. (Some of the newer systems like ConvertKit make it easier to create opt-in forms.)
  • AWeber allows affiliate marketing.
  • You can use Canva directly from your AWeber dashboard.

Negatives

  • AWeber is one of the most established autoresponder services on the market. And I’ve been recommending them in the past. But Aweber has not added some of the new powerful features that other email marketing systems like ConvertKit and GetResponse are providing today.
  • Although AWeber provides some automation and integration, they don’t work as well as the systems from GetResponse and ConvertKit.
  • AWeber charges for un-subscribers which increases your cost.

Click here to try out Aweber risk-free for 30 days 


GetResponse

Click here to get a 30 day free trial on their pro plans.

get responde email marketing system
  • There is a free plan for up to 500 contacts
  • The basic plan costs $15/mo for up to 1,000 names.
  • Prices for up to 1,000 contacts vary depending on the features you're getting:
  • Email Marketing is $15.58/Month, Marketing Automation is $48.38/Month, and E-commerce $97.58/Month.
  • Go to their website and use the scroll box to see how prices change when scrolling to the number of contacts you need.

GetResponse used to be very similar to AWeber. But today, GetResponse provides powerful new features that AWeber doesn’t provide. It provides an all-in-one online marketing service to grow your business. 

Go to their website and use the scroll box to see how prices change when scrolling to the number of contacts you need.

Benefits

  • GetResponse offers all the features other autoresponders offer and more. It offers all the benefits that AWeber has and more.
  • Uses drag-and-drop editors.
  • You’re getting a ready-made, automated sales funnel generator: build high-converting landing pages, automate your emails, sell your products, recover abandoned orders, and convert subscribers to customers.
  • Web forms are built into your landing pages and automatically set up for your campaigns – just add the fields you need.
  • Autofunnels: Get sales funnels, lead funnels, and webinar funnels. I’m really impressed with GetResponse’s funnels. And the Autofunnel feature is included in the essential plan.
  • A hot feature is the One-click upsell pages that make it easy to promote limited-time offers immediately after a customer’s purchase and increase your revenue.
  • Marketing automation & segmentation: Scoring and tagging are a part of marketing automation that helps you analyze your customers’ habits and preferences. GetResponse’s automation allows for advanced automated campaigns based on triggers/conditions such as sales, location, and more.
  • Social tracking.
  • GetResponse has 100+ page templates, including landing pages, popups, exit popups, and sticky sign-up forms.
  • A/B testing and analytics, countdown timer
  • Integrates with most apps, including WordPress, Facebook, PayPal, Shopify, WooCommerce, Etsy, and many more.
  • The customer service is excellent.

If you’re new to autoresponders, you can start with the basic plan for a low fee and upgrade as you need additional features.

Their standout feature is their Autofunnel which has over 30 ready-made email templates, landing pages, and sequences to generate sales. Autofunnel is optimized to nurture your email list and maximize your funnel’s conversion rates. It can help you build sales, funnels, lead funnels, landing pages, web forms, exit popups, automate your emails, sell your products, and convert subscribers to customers.

GetResponse smart automation tools can help you create multiple advanced conditions to segment your email lists automatically.

Click here to check out GetResponse.


ConvertKit

ConvertKit is great for serious bloggers. It helps you build your list through attractive opt-in forms, trackable data, and simple but powerful automation.

ConvertKit is one of the best systems out there today. 

convertkit email marketing system

The price is good ($25/month) if you have less than 1,000 subscribers but goes up substantially when your list grows. And it may get more features than you’re ready to use.

Creator starts at $25/month for up to 1000 subscribers; $66/month for up to 5000 subscribers and $100/month for 10,000 subscribers.
Creator Pro starts at $50/month for up to 1000 subscribers, $66/month for 5000 subscribers; $140 for 10,000 subscribers

Some of the benefits:

  • You can keep your list organized with tags and segments.
  • You can track the exact interests and purchases of your audience through tags.
  • You get super-easy-to-build landing pages. You’ll save money because you don’t need LeadsPages to create landing pages.
  • You don’t need to know any code to create beautiful opt-in forms or add them to your landing pages. I have not seen another system that makes it that easy to create opt-in forms.
  • Integrates with Unsplash to quickly find and place images on your landing pages.
  • They do NOT charge for unsubscribers (Aweber and MailChimp do).
  • Provides advanced tracking and analytics to help you improve your conversions.

Negatives?

The $25/month price is very reasonable to get started but gets pretty high when you get over 3,000 subscribers but that’s the case with most providers.

Click here to check out ConvertKit.


Looking for a free autoresponder?

MailChimp

mailchimp autoresponder
  • MailChimp is free for up to 500 subscribers and up to 2500 emails a month.
  • The Essential plan starts at $11/month, the Stardard plan starts at $17/month and the Premium plan starts at $299/month.

Benefits of MailChimp:

  • You can upgrade to a paid version as your list and mailing needs grow.
  • Easy to use.
  • Provides a wide variety of drag-and-drop templates to help you design your newsletter.
  • MailChimp has a free drag-and-drop landing page creator for their subscribers that you can customize. You can NOT use your own domain name when using their landing pages and they only have 2 landing page templates.

Disadvantages:

  • MailChimp is more expensive than most other popular autoresponders after you outgrow the free plan.
  • You don’t get personal support with the free plan.
  • The free plan will show MailChimp branding in your email messages.
  • MailChimp has restrictions on affiliate marketing and has shut down people who are using affiliate links. Read more about MailChimp's restrictions.
  • Their reporting is not as streamlined as other systems.
  • It has limited email segmentation features, customization, and flexibility for advanced users.
  • Mailchimp has low deliverability and many emails will land in the receiver’s junk mail.

Rates

  • It is FREE for the first 500 subscribers but the amount of emails you can send is limited to 2,500 a month.
  • They count unsubscribed email addresses towards your contact limit.
  • MailChimp’s pricing plans are confusing. They have an “Essential” plan, a Standard, and a “Premium” plan.  The Essential plan starts at $11/month and comes with just the basics. And the Premium plan starts at $299/month.
  • If one person signs up for several newsletters, they are counted several times. This increases the number of subscribers faster and you’ll need the higher-prices plans faster.

Mailchimp’s free plan is not bad if you have a small list and plan to keep it small if you don’t mind having their advertisement at the bottom of your emails, and if you don’t focus on affiliate marketing. You won’t get dedicated support. And if you’re new to autoresponders, you will probably need some help.

There are other companies that provide more benefits for better prices once you reach a larger number of subscribers.

Click here to check out MailChimp.


Ready to grow your business with email?

Conclusion:

ConvertKit and GetResponse are great options for serious marketers. They allow you to personalize email campaigns based on your readers’ preferences.

Mailchimp: Only go with MailChimp if your email needs are very limited and you don’t plan on growing your list. And although it’s cheaper to start up with MailChimp, it will cost you more as your list grows.

Building a list and using a good email automation system is a must if you are serious about making money online.

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LANDING PAGES

Landing page creators make it easier to set up landing pages. They save time and provide templates that are set up to improve your conversion rates. They also integrate with your email autoresponder.

It's absolutely crucial to track visitors and conversions. You need to know which landing pages are working and tweak or replace the ones that don’t. So, when looking at landing pages, make sure they allow tracking.

LeadPages

LeadPages is the best-known system for creating landing pages. It is a great system that makes it easy to create landing pages. But some of today’s powerful email marketing platforms like GetResponse and ConvertKit now include landing page builders. So, when using one of those, it will save the money you may otherwise pay for a landing page creator such as LeadPages.

  • 14-day free trial. The plan starts at $25 per month. The pro version provides A/B testing (48/month).
  • Provides landing pages, pop-ups, and alerts.
  • Easy single-click integration.
  • 40+ integrations.
  • Facebook and Instagram ad builder.

ConvertKit’s Landing Pages

  • With ConvertKit you can create beautiful landing pages without knowing any code.
  • Their landing page builder provides quick metrics updates for conversion rates and subscriber counts, and you can also easily set up your favorite tracking methods.
  • With the data the system collects, you can learn how your audience interacts with your landing page to improve your conversions and keep creating irresistible pages to grow your thriving business. For more advanced tracking options, add your Google Analytics, Segment, and/or Facebook business IDs to connect powerful analytics to your ConvertKit landing page builder.

GetResponse’s Landing Pages

  • GetResponse has 100’s page templates, including landing pages, popups, exit popups, and sticky sign-up forms.
  • Uses drag-and-drop editors.
  • Automation templates, scoring, tagging, automation segmentation.
  • Track page insights instantly.
  • Improve your landing pages with A/B testing and analytics.
  • Connect any popular analytics and remarketing platform with your landing pages.
  • Provides countdown timer.

Are you struggling to build a list?

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