Email Marketing Guide

5. 20 Email Marketing Platforms For Small Businesses

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Small Business Marketing

20 Email Marketing Platforms For Small Businesses

Jul 11, 2023 • 10+ min read
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      Email marketing may not be a shiny new marketing strategy. Still, it is reliable and can give a huge ROI if done correctly. For example, Litmus found that companies that invested in email marketing got $36 for every $1 spent. 

      Email marketing is gathering your audience’s email addresses and sending them marketing materials and information. It is an important element of any digital marketing plan.

      It can be a powerful tool because the email addresses you gather are an owned audience. You’re not depending on a social media platform or anything else to reach your audience, giving you more reliable access to your audience. 

      Email marketing services are tools that help you gather your audience’s email addresses, segment them based on interests, automate emails, and provide reporting on how your emails are performing. 

      In this article, we’ll explain what to look for in an email marketing platform and give a rundown of our top 20 email marketing services for small businesses. 

      How to Choose the Best Platform For Your Business

      Just as every small business is unique and has different needs, many email marketing platforms have different strengths and weaknesses. You want to find the platform that will work best with your business. The best platform for you depends mainly on your business type and email marketing strategy. 

      Email Marketing Strategy

      Before finding the right email marketing platform, you should create an email marketing strategy for your business. Understanding your business goals and how you intend to use email to achieve those goals will help you decide which platform is the best fit for you. 

      Some key elements of an email marketing strategy include:

      • Objectives – What do you want your audience to do when they read your emails?
      • Schedule – How often will you be sending emails to your audience?
      • Audience segments – How will you break your audience into different groups so you can send more personalized content?

      Once your email marketing strategy is ready, you can identify the most helpful features you’d like from your email marketing platform. Many platforms have different plans based on what features you’d like to use. Some examples would be:

      • Whether you’ll be integrating your sales and marketing 
      • If you’ll use both SMS and email marketing 
      • How many subscribers you have
      • How many emails you send monthly

      Knowing what features you need, how email marketing will integrate with your other marketing efforts, how many subscribers you expect, and how many emails you wish to send a month will help you find the right platform and plan. While the number of subscribers and emails you’ll send may be an estimate, it should still help you narrow down your options. 

      Your Business

      Based on your business and your products and services, you’ll want to look for specific features and integrations for your email marketing platform. 

      Some email marketing platforms specialize in e-commerce businesses; others target content creators. Another platform has built a service for businesses that make and sell online courses. Many of these tools will work for all types of businesses, but finding one specializing in your business can be a bonus. 

      Another critical aspect to consider while researching email marketing platforms is what other platforms and applications you’d like to integrate with your email marketing. Suppose you own an e-commerce business and use Shopify. In that case, you’ll want to find an email marketing platform that can connect to your Shopify account. 

      If you already use a CRM or other platform for your marketing and sales, then it would be worth researching if that platform offers email marketing services. It simplifies your processes and workflows, having all that data in one platform. 

      The Top Email Marketing Platforms

      There are many different email marketing platforms and tools available. We’ve listed 20 of the top email marketing services with a brief description, which type of business the platform will be best for, when to use it, pricing information, and a link to their website. Using this list, you can narrow your search for the best platform for your business.


      Mailchimp is one of the most popular email marketing platforms, primarily because of its user-friendly platform and different marketing tools. You can use Mailchimp to build your website, landing pages, and email and social media campaigns. This platform is excellent for beginners looking to learn and grow their marketing efforts for their small businesses. 

      Best for: Small businesses looking for a beginner-friendly solution that can grow with your business

      When to use: When you’re looking to start building an email marketing campaign and want to start on a free plan that will walk you through growing your email subscribers. 

      Pricing: Free plan and several paid plans starting at $13/month, depending on the features you’d like access to 


      Constant Contact

      Constant Contact provides a simple and intuitive platform for creating and managing email campaigns and additional features like event management and surveys. With its email services, this email platform is one of the few that offer event management, such as event invites and registrations. Constant Contact is also well-known for having excellent customer service, which can be helpful for beginners. 

      Best for: Small businesses who often host events

      When to use: When you need email marketing services for promoting your events and other marketing needs.

      Pricing: Paid plans start at $12/month


      Brevo (Sendinblue)

      Brevo, formerly Sendinblue, offers email listing services, SMS marketing, and live chat services. Brevo recently rebranded when they expanded their services to include a CRM, social media ads, landing page builders, and transactional emails. It provides a user-friendly interface and automation features with low-cost plans. 

      Best for Small ecommerce businesses seeking an affordable solution with multiple marketing channels

      When to use: When you need an email marketing automation service, but only need to send a few emails monthly. 

      Pricing: Free plan and paid plans starting at $25/month



      GetResponse offers email marketing, automation, landing pages, webinars, and conversion funnel software. This platform is excellent for ecommerce businesses looking for advanced automation features. GetResponse allows its users to create a full-funnel experience that nurtures leads into sales through email and landing pages. 

      Best for: Small SaaS businesses looking for a comprehensive marketing solution with webinar capabilities

      When to use: When you want to nurture your leads into sales for your SaaS business.

      Pricing: Free plan and paid plans starting at $15.58/month



      AWeber is known for its reliable email deliverability and automation capabilities. Moreover, it offers a range of templates and integrations. This platform also gives you the tools to improve how your emails perform with reporting and A/B testing options available. Finally, AWeber is intuitive and beginner-friendly, requiring only a slight learning curve.

      Best for: Small businesses focused on building strong relationships through email marketing

      When to use: When you require a platform with excellent deliverability rates and advanced automation.

      Pricing: Free plan and paid plans starting at $12.50/month


      Campaign Monitor

      Campaign Monitor provides email marketing software with a drag-and-drop email builder, advanced segmentation, and personalized content options. Campaign Monitor makes it easy to build beautiful emails without needing design experience with their drag-and-drop builder. This platform is well-known for its customizable templates and audience segmentation. 

      Best for: Small businesses focused on content creation looking to send customized emails to their audience

      When to use: When you need a platform that allows extensive customization and personalization.

      Pricing: Basic plan starts at $9/month



      ConvertKit is an email marketing platform for creators, bloggers, and small businesses looking to build an audience. It offers advanced automation and segmentation. This email marketing platform is an excellent option for creators who sell digital products or services, like coaching or podcasting. ConvertKit has a network of creators you can connect with through their platform. 

      Another noteworthy feature of ConvertKit is its concierge migration service, which will help move your email lists from other platforms to theirs.

      Best for: Small businesses focused on content creation and audience building

      When to use: When you are a content creator looking to grow your audience through targeted email campaigns.

      Pricing: Free plan and paid plans starting at $9/month



      Drip is an ecommerce-focused email marketing platform that provides automation, personalization, and integrations with popular ecommerce platforms. Drip provides reporting and data about what your audience is doing, so you can better strategize your campaigns. Drip’s powerful automation features also allow you to send personalized emails to your audience based on their actions. 

      Best for: Small businesses operating ecommerce stores and seeking powerful automation features

      When to use: When you want a platform that seamlessly integrates with your ecommerce store and takes much of the work off your plate with automation

      Pricing: Beginner plan starting at $39/month



      MailerLite offers an easy-to-use email marketing solution with features like a drag-and-drop editor, automation, landing pages, and pop-ups. MailerLite is popular for small businesses because they have a great free plan and its paid plans are cheaper than many competitors’. It’s also well-known for being easy to use and has excellent customer support.

      Best for: Small businesses on a budget who require a user-friendly platform with automation capabilities

      When to use: When your small business is just starting with email marketing and needs an affordable, beginner-friendly platform

      Pricing: Free plan and paid plans starting at $9/month



      ActiveCampaign is a robust marketing automation platform combining email listing services with CRM, sales, and messaging tools like SMS. This platform is a great way to combine your marketing and sales efforts. You can save notes on clients in ActiveCampaign and use those notes to create automated and customized campaigns. One thing to keep in mind: ActiveCampaign has a steeper learning curve because of these advanced features.  

      Best for: Small businesses looking to combine their marketing and sales efforts

      When to use: When you need a platform that integrates email marketing with other sales and customer management functions

      Pricing: Paid plans start at $49/month


      Twilio SendGrid

      SendGrid offers a cloud-based email delivery platform with advanced features like email optimization, analytics, and deliverability consulting. This platform is well-known for having excellent reports and insights into deliverability (i.e., how often your emails end up in someone’s inbox vs. their spam folder). This data can help you craft emails that won’t land in anyone’s spam folder. SendGrid also offers flexibility in designing email templates, including HTML or a drag-and-drop editor. 

      Best for: Small businesses looking to improve their email deliverability

      When to use: When you require a platform for sending large volumes of emails focusing on deliverability

      Pricing: Free plan, and paid plans starting at $15/month



      Mailjet provides a collaborative email marketing service with real-time collaboration, automation, and segmentation features. If multiple people are working on your email campaigns, knowing who is making changes and when can be difficult. Mailjet’s real-time collaboration feature is unique and incredibly helpful for team members editing campaigns simultaneously. 

      Best for: Small businesses that need collaborative tools for email marketing campaigns

      When to use: When you work in a team and require a collaborative email creation and management platform

      Pricing: Free plan and paid plans starting at $15/month


      Benchmark Email

      Benchmark Email offers an intuitive email marketing platform with drag-and-drop editing, automation, and robust analytics. This platform is known for being incredibly easy to use with its helpful templates and customizations. Their generous free plan works well for small businesses looking to send less than 3,500 emails per month.

      Best for: Small businesses looking for a very user-friendly interface

      When to use: When you want a platform that offers beautiful templates, simplicity, and detailed campaign analytics

      Pricing: Free plan and paid plans starting at $8/month



      Omnisend specializes in emailing services and SMS marketing for ecommerce businesses. It offers automation, segmentation, and cart abandonment features. One of the most popular features Omnisend offers is the Product Picker. This tool lets you easily insert your products into a newsletter or email without coding. Suppose you’re an ecommerce business looking to sell more products using email and SMS marketing. In that case, Omnisend is an excellent option for you.

      Best for: Small ecommerce businesses wanting to optimize their email and SMS marketing

      When to use: When you operate an online store and require a platform that caters to ecommerce marketing needs

      Pricing: Free plan and paid plans starting at $16/month



      HubSpot is an all-in-one marketing platform that provides emailing services, CRM, automation, and other marketing tools. Any customer communication can be handled through Hubspot, including sales and customer service. Storing your customer data in one tool can be incredibly helpful, so you don’t have data spread across multiple platforms. 

      Best for: Small businesses seeking a comprehensive marketing suite with strong CRM integration

      When to use: When you need a unified platform to manage marketing, sales, and customer relationships

      Pricing: Paid plans starting at $20/month



      Moosend is an email marketing platform offering automation, personalization, landing pages, and reporting tools. This platform is excellent for creating and automating workflows and is often compared to MailChimp. The dashboard is intuitive, and creating and launching email campaigns using their templates is easy. 

      Best for: Small businesses looking to create and automate their email campaigns

      When to use: When you want a platform with powerful automation features and a focus on personalization

      Pricing: Free 30-day trial and paid plans starting at $9/month



      Campaigner provides email marketing software with features like A/B testing, automation, and detailed reporting. While Campaigner has a steeper learning curve than some platforms, they also have a great workflow automation process. In addition, they offer a tool to check your user journey flow to ensure there are no errors before going live. 

      Best for: Small businesses looking to create a personalized and automated user journey

      When to use: When you need a platform to help build a visual workflow for your customers

      Pricing: Paid plans starting at $59/month



      Klaviyo specializes in email and SMS marketing for ecommerce businesses, offering powerful segmentation, automation, and personalization. Klaviyo has many integrations with popular ecommerce applications, so bringing your customers and data together is easy. This platform includes emailing services, SMS marketing, and mobile push notifications and facilitates product reviews. 

      Best for: Small ecommerce businesses looking to reach customers through multiple channels with personalized messages 

      When to use: When you want a platform that integrates with popular ecommerce platforms and connects with your customers easily

      Pricing: Free plan and paid plans starting at $45/month


      Zoho Campaigns

      Zoho Campaigns is a part of the Zoho suite of business tools. It offers email marketing, automation, and social media integration. Zoho provides a whole suite of business tools, including CRM and analytics. If your business already uses Zoho’s other tools, adding on their email marketing tool may be your best option. However, if your business doesn’t use Zoho’s other tools, Campaigns is still a great email marketing platform to consider. 

      Best for: Small businesses already using other Zoho products

      When to use: When you use other Zoho products and want a cohesive marketing platform within the same ecosystem

      Pricing: Free plan and paid plans starting at $3/month



      SendPulse is an email marketing service that combines email, SMS, web push notifications, and chatbots. It offers automation and personalization features to make customer communication more manageable and effective. SendPulse also provides a platform to build and sell online courses. This platform is helpful for businesses looking to automate processes and reach customers from multiple channels. 

      Best for: Small businesses building and selling online courses and looking to engage customers through multiple channels with automation capabilities

      When to use: When you want to reach your audience through emails, SMS, chatbots, and web push notifications using a single platform

      Pricing: Free plan and paid plans starting at $6.40/month



      You should choose the email marketing platform that offers the features your business needs and has a plan for the number of subscribers and how many emails you plan to send a month. 

      We recommend using this list to narrow your search and then research and test several platforms to find the best one.

      Some essential features to look for in an email marketing platform include:

      • Email automation
      • Audience segmentation
      • Customization and dynamic content
      • Analytics and reporting
      • High deliverability rates
      • A/B testing
      • User-friendly dashboard
      • Additional tools and integrations
      • Excellent customer service

      It depends on the platform and plan. In this article, many platforms offer free plans, as well as paid plans that range in cost from $4 to hundreds of dollars a month.

      The key to building a great email list is having contacts on your list who want to be there and are interested in your content. That’s why tactics like buying email lists don’t work. First, that violates data protection regulations like the GDPR. Second, those people didn’t actively choose to receive your emails, so they likely won’t want to stick around. 

      Some best practices for building an engaged email list are to:

      • Include sign-ups across your site, social media, and other marketing channels.
      • Regularly clean up your email list, removing emails that bounce or don’t engage with your content. (Some email marketing platforms will do this for you!)
      • Create and send engaging content. A great email list should have an engaged audience. To do that, you need to create helpful and interactive content for your email campaigns.

      Some key metrics you can track to gauge the success of your email campaigns are open rates, click-through rates, deliverability rates, and revenue from email. A great email marketing platform will put together reports based on how your campaigns perform to help you find ways to improve. 

      You can test many things to improve your email marketing campaigns. With most platforms, you can perform A/B tests to determine which versions of your email perform best. With A/B testing, focusing on changing one thing at a time for precise results is best. 

      Some elements you can test to improve your email performance:

      • Subject line – Your subject line is the first thing your audience will see when checking their inbox. You want to create a subject line that will capture attention and interest. However, you want to avoid using any clickbait in your subject lines.
      • Call-to-action (CTA) – The CTA in your email is what you’re asking your audience to do after they read your email. This may be reading an article, purchasing something, or signing up to attend a webinar. You can test different ways to phrase your CTAs to find which will most likely engage your audience.
      • Content You can also test the actual content you send in your emails. Try the types of content, such as written, imagery, or video. Or you can test different articles or videos to see which information is most helpful to your audience. You can also test the headers and how you format the content within the email.
      • Imagery and design The imagery you choose to include in your emails and the overall look of them can impact how your customers respond to them.

      The customer support offered by email marketing platforms varies and is something you should carefully consider when picking a platform. Some offer 24/7 customer support, setup walk-throughs, learning resources, or a customer service representative assigned to your business. When researching platforms, ask what support is available to find the platform that gives you the help you need to succeed. 

      There are many laws and regulations regarding email marketing to protect user data and prevent spam. Most are based on country or state, so check out what regulations exist for countries or states where you currently conduct a business. 

      Following these regulations and guidelines will help save your business from being fined or marked as spam. When demoing an email marketing platform, asking your customer representative what their platform does to help you stay compliant with these regulations can be helpful. 


      Email marketing is a great marketing strategy and can bring a huge ROI to your business. It’s a great way to keep your audience engaged and increase purchases. Finding the right email marketing platform can help you create an excellent experience for your audience and make life easier for you with templates and automation. 

      Focus on your business goals and needs as you research email marketing platforms to ensure that you select the right tool for your business.

      About the author
      Kendra Madsen

      Kendra Madsen is a content strategist, UX writer, and digital marketing consultant for small businesses. She has written hundreds of articles for small businesses in many different industries, using SEO best practices. When she isn’t writing or obsessing about the latest marketing trend, she can be found outside mountain biking or playing at the park with her son and dog.

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