4 Best Email Marketing Software For 2021
February 24, 2021
If you thought email marketing is any less relevant today than it was a decade ago, you'd be completely off the mark.
89 % of B2B marketers and 79 % of B2C marketers religiously rely on email marketing software to engage their audience and drive up conversion rates. That says a lot about email marketing, particularly when it comes to engaging your customers in a highly personalized manner.
Even though digital marketing has evolved dramatically over the last two decades or so, email marketing has, curiously, remained as integral as ever. There is no debate that emails are still the best medium for content marketing.
That said, any marketer that's looking for success in 2021 and beyond must have at least one email marketing software in their arsenal. These useful tools not only help you collect emails to build your email list, but they also take care of every other aspect-from creating powerful emails to segmenting your audiences and managing multiple email campaigns.
Email marketing indeed is one of the oldest forms of digital marketing, but that doesn't mean that it is as archaic as it was back in 2001. Today, there is software that handles every aspect of your email marketing campaigns, leaving you only with the task of creating and sending content.
If you're looking for the best email marketing software for 2021, stay tuned because we've compiled a list of some of the best options available.
Best Email Marketing Software
Convertkit is an excellent email marketing software for bloggers and e-commerce marketers whose focus is on targeting the right portion of their audience.
It comes with features like segmentation and subscriber management, which gives marketers a lot of control over who receives what email. Unfortunately, it falls dramatically short when it comes to creating visually attractive emails.
Convertkit's email editor is basic at best. Compared to the advanced functionality of its form building capacity, it is as rudimentary as a handheld compass in an airplane cockpit.
Nevertheless, there are marketers who find the software's unique landing page reports, automation creator, and live chat support to be invaluable despite the lacking email editor. For email marketing software, it is a little too pricey as well.
Is Convertkit what you need? Here's an in-depth look at its features, pros, and cons.
An autoresponder is built by stringing together a sequence of emails that are sent automatically following the action of a customer or when they meet specific conditions. It could be that they've abandoned their cart or have not responded to an email sent previously.
Autoresponders are an effective way to usher customers down the sales funnel, and Convertkit allows you to make them as intricate as you need them to be. That includes setting conditions, actions, or events that would trigger the autoresponder and specifying the type of action that the customer is encouraged to take.
Most autoresponders ask customers to fill out a form or finish a purchase. Some may also be used to collect and tag new subscribers automatically. Convertkit gives you automation templates too, so if you're unsure how to proceed, it can recommend steps like launching a product or following up with customers who haven't made their first purchase.
Convertkit uses email tags to manage subscribers, not contacts (lists). You can customize these tags to reflect more information (such as when you imported a specific group of subscribers), and you can add as many of them as you like.
In addition to importing them, you can assign autoresponders, tags, and forms to add to your subscribers. Convertkit lets you import subscribers from other email marketing providers too.
Aside from importing them, Convertkit also tracks subscriber metrics. Analytics is a huge part of this email marketing software. It collects metrics such as new subs, total subs, the average click rate, the average open rate, and granular purchase metrics (if you have an online store).
Landing page and form builder
Convertkit has one of the most impressive landing pages and form building functionality. The interface is beautiful, and all the design options (color, background, font, and text size) are at your disposal. Plus, Convertkit throws in advanced features like automatic incentive emails to new subscribers, altered messages for returning visitors, and customizable actions for each form captured.
There is also a built-in report feature that tracks your visitors, subscribers, and conversion rates. Convertkit is ideal for marketers without websites as it hosts your landing page on its own domain and servers.
Convertkit pushes the personalization of content by allowing marketers to segment their customers. It lets you add as many conditions as you need to segment your audience with extreme granularity. Some of the applicable conditions include location, purchase behavior, and subscription.
Last and certainly most disappointing is Convertkit's email editor. It sticks out like a sore thumb compared to the email software's high-end functionality's other features.
There are few email and newsletter templates to use, and the editing options are similarly limited. There's still a little room for customization, though-the font, content, and button color can be changed, and so can the style.
However, there is no preview, spell-check, or spam-check feature integrated into the editor. As you'll see, most email marketing software isn't shy about making nifty editors, so Convertkit's iteration seems lazy and uninspired.
- Provides landing page reports
- Excellent autoresponder feature
- Advanced subscriber management
- Great segmentation capability
- Low-quality email editor
2. Constant Contact
Constant Contact is an email marketing platform that's loved for its ease of use and extensive functionality. It requires little in the way of technical effort to set up, which makes it ideal for all types of marketers, from novices to veterans.
It is the best option for those who are using email marketing software for the first time. The software's key strength lies in its Contact (list) management capabilities. It also boasts of a very intuitive user interface and extensive community support.
However, it fails to provide the type of segmentation functionality you'd expect from the software at this price point. It is also worth noting that its price is rather intimidating to marketers with limited budgets.
Let's see what Constant Contact has to offer in terms of features.
In sharp contrast to Convertkit's basic email editor, Constant Contact offers advanced email functionality, which includes the ability to customize your emails based on your brand colors and styles. All you need to do is enter your website's URL.
If you don't have a website, Constant Contact offers a number of templates to use within its drag-and-drop email editor, which leaves you with numerous editing options. You can throw in images, videos, polls, RSVPs, and social share buttons.
There is a whole lot of ways to edit the elements of each block of content. You can change styles and backgrounds in seconds as everything in the editor is made to be as user-friendly as possible.
A particularly useful feature is the dynamic content option, which lets you select what content appears to which contacts. The criteria can be anything you prefer. It could be demographic information such as age and location, or it could be based on your contacts' purchase history.
Lastly, the email editor helps you ensure that everything you send out is technically correct. It scours your emails for missing links, copywriting issues, dates, and typos. You can also preview how your email looks based on different email clients such as Gmail, Yahoo, and Outlook.
Advanced contact management
Constant Contact has one of the most advanced contact management features you will find anywhere. It doesn't just help you keep track of your contacts; it actively grows your email list. Marketers find that it is far easier to adapt to as it allows you to add contacts whichever way you please.
You can do it manually, upload contacts in bulk from a file, or import them from an email service or productivity software you were using previously.
Constant Contact is good for novices who have no idea how to start getting more subscribers. That's because it suggests actions to take, guiding newbies through their first few attempts at understanding the process.
Some of the actions it suggests may include allowing your users to join your mailing list by sending a text, creating a sign-up page on your website to help build your list faster, and connecting with social media apps like Facebook.
Constant Contact shows you the performance of all your emails in one graph. It covers all the important metrics-clicks, opens, bounces, and sends-in one graph so that you can compare the successes of each of your email campaigns and note their progress over time.
With such insightful reporting, Constant Contact allows you to note problematic metrics early on and change your strategies to improve their reception among your clients.
It offers rather granular statistics so that you know exactly where your email fell short. You can see stats that affect performance, such as time sent and how active your subscribers are.
Email marketing software should actively allow you to grow your list, which is exactly what Constant Contact does. It makes it possible to capture your users' contact information by placing sign-up forms on your website.
You can customize these capture forms to a great degree. Marketers have the option to use popups, customized landing pages, and embedded forms to grow their email lists. Every aspect of each feature is customizable too, which means you can edit the landing pages' style to suit your business' needs.
Although Constant Contact does offer segmentation, it's a very watered-down version. Unlike Convertkit, which allows you to segment your audience based on a variety of metrics, Constant Contact lets you group your subscribers based on whether they've opened, received, or clicked on any links in your email.
Therefore, you can segment your subscribers based on criteria such as how active they are when it comes to opening your emails or purchasing goods from your links.
- Highly intuitive and attractive user interface
- State-of-the-art contact management feature
- Plenty of community support available
- Comprehensive reporting
- Limited segmentation options
- Basic landing pages
- No live (24/7) support
Rated as the best email marketing software for new users, Sendinblue fits beginners just as well as experienced marketers as it offers a combination of high-end features and an intuitive user experience. Marketers can create highly-effective marketing campaigns, which can be as rudimentary or as advanced as their skill level allows.
Sendinblue is for businesses of all sizes. It suits the needs of all types of marketers, from those who only need simple campaigns to those that require highly personalized, segmented campaigns. With features like AB-testing and advanced attribution, this is an optimal one-size-fits-all solution for marketers worldwide.
Here are some of the features that make it an exciting prospect.
Segmentation and attribution
With Sendinblue, you have a bunch of segmentation options at your disposal to improve the personalization of your content. You can segment your subscribers as much as you need to drive up your click and open rates.
Some of the attributes you can segment on include; opens and clicks, purchase behavior, pageviews on various products and categories, and demographic stats (age, gender, and location).
The segmentation capabilities offered by Sendinblue are powered by the software's contact search. Contact search is an inherent feature of the platform that allows you to search for contacts based on demographic data, email engagement history, and lists. It is handy that you can filter the search results using more than one attribute.
As you might expect, Sendinblue has very specific segmentation capabilities. It even allows you to apply rules to each segment based on the criteria you used to create them, allowing you to make all your emails highly personalized. Amazingly, you can even tailor email content to suit different segments from within the same campaign.
Sendinblue has a very nifty automation workflow that allows you to manage how you interact with your subscribers. First, you select an entry point, which means the action that the user takes to trigger automated responses. You can then choose the actions that follow after the entry point based on the behavior of your subscribers.
You can optimize and refine these automated workflows using features like A/B split testing, which allows you to analyze two different options to identify the actions that give the best results.
Statistics and analysis
Sendinblue allows you to detect problems immediately using its real-time tracking feature. It tracks sends, bounces, opens, and clicks as they occur, giving you a good idea of how your subscribers react to new emails.
It goes deeper than that to show you potential reasons why your emails are not received well. If there is a problem with how the email is displaying or how quickly your emails are being delivered, these real-time statistics and analytic reports will tell you immediately.
Most importantly, it shows results in easy-to-grasp visuals and graphs, so you don't need to be a marketing guru to use this feature. This easily accessible data helps you understand what you need to change in order to make your campaigns more successful.
Unfortunately, it is not as comprehensive as some marketers may have needed it to be. It only tracks sends, clicks, opens, and bounces based on the user's location. Some email marketers go beyond by collecting conversion rates and statistics about spam complaints, list growth, and unsubscribe. Some even categorize data by device and domain.
Email forms and campaigns
The email creation feature offered by Sendinblue is standard at best. You get a handful of customizable newsletter templates, an HTML builder, and a rich text editor. What's not basic is the intuitive email creation process. The editor is surprisingly user-friendly. It may not seem like much, but it contributes a great deal towards the email marketer's usability.
You can alter the different design and functionality elements to suit different types of content blocks. You have a great deal of freedom when it comes to customization. Everything from the color of your links to the borders and even your image captions can be edited and tinkered with to your heart's content.
Sendinblue also gives you the option of using dynamic content so that different users get different content blocks based on demographical or behavioral data. This feature allows you to target different audiences at the same time using automation to customize emails so that they're more relevant to each user.
You can schedule emails to be sent at a later time or allow Sendinblue to do it automatically. It will send emails at the optimal date and time for each recipient, which dramatically improves engagement.
- Very intuitive and user-friendly interface, which is fully customizable
- Improved attribution and highly effective segmentation functionality
- A/B split testing for all your automation
- Sophisticated email editor
- Serious lack of live support
- Does not collect transactional metrics
- The A/B testing feature is only available in the paid plans.
Whether it is reliability or affordability you're after, AWeber is one of the best email marketing solutions available. It is exceptionally easy to use, but it offers a comprehensive suite of features and functionalities tailored towards more engaging emails.
It is ideal for businesses with limited resources. That's because it is easy to set up and pretty straightforward to use. The only problem marketers have with AWeber is that it lacks any notable features. Everything it offers can be found on other email marketers, which begs the question, is it worth investing in?
Let's take a look at its features to find out.
When getting started, AWeber gives you a number of templates to help you build automated campaigns with ease. The templates are categorized according to your customer's actions. For instance, you can use a template from the welcome series to target new subscribers or pick one for the blogger series to deploy different but related content via several emails.
You can even build your own automated workflow and select the triggers that will activate it. For example, a campaign might kick-off when a new user subscribes. There are plenty of criteria that you can use to tag (segment) and target customers.
The best part is that automation is easy to use on AWeber. Simply drag and drop the features/options you want into the workflow.
Sign up form builder
AWeber allows you to actively grow your email list by providing a sign-up form builder. This tool allows you to create capture forms that collect details from potential customers. While the functionality of this feature is excellent, the user interface is not.
Marketers describe it as clunky, but it is still quite usable. In any case, the functionality of this particular feature is too useful to ignore. You can customize popup forms and specify when and where they appear on your customers' screens. You can tinker with a lot of specifications, including the display frequencies per customer.
This feature seemingly prevents you from spamming your subscribers by allowing you to tone down the number of times your email appears in their inbox. It can actually improve engagement and conversion rates.
With AWeber, you can keep track of both subscriber and email campaign metrics. It is very useful as it shows you how both your campaigns and your sign-up forms are performing.
Interestingly, AWeber is one of the few email marketers that is not concerned with vanity metrics like opens and clicks. Instead, it focuses on revenue-based data at a very granular level. This can be very useful as it gives you accurate measurements of the ROI for each of your campaigns.
Some of the metrics it collects include conversions, sales in specific periods, and revenue over time. It relays this data in easy-to-understand visual representations but uniquely offers more than just a pretty chart to stare at. AWeber is one of the few marketers that lets you take action based on the metrics it collects. For instance, if you observe that 100 people are interested enough to click through to your website, it may suggest creating a segment for only these people so that you can send them more relevant and targeted emails.
AWeber's contact management feature is basic but useful. You can add subscribers manually (one-by-one) or upload them as a group of contacts. There's a great deal of customization involved whether you're looking to add tags like gender or favorite color. The more contacts you enter, the more information AWeber gleans, and with time, it starts to recommend possible tags based on your previous entries.
Customizing customer information allows you to create segments. It is important that you note down every bit of useful information when uploading contacts to make full use of the platform's powerful filter, which allows you to search for customers based on the date added, city, sale amount, web pages visited, or any other custom tags you create.
You can also suppress subscribers so that they don't receive emails from certain campaigns or from all your campaigns. Marketers can use this feature when a customer launches a complaint as they may not want to receive more promotions and deals before their problem is resolved.
AI-based email builder
AWeber is flexible in that you can create emails based on how much experience and time you have on your hands. It does this courtesy of an AI-powered email builder called Smart Designer.
This email builder is a state-of-the-art piece of technology that creates templates based on your website. After giving it your URL, it scans your website to detect the type of content, then creates numerous templates in minutes. You can save as many of them as you want and discard the rest.
The dashboard is beautiful and easy to navigate. There are distinctly placed sections that separate your draft messages, broadcasts, and campaign emails. You'll certainly appreciate these distinctions when you have multiple campaigns running simultaneously.
Unfortunately, the email editor is less than impressive. It may be feature-rich, but it is slow and a little too complicated to be called novice-friendly. It might take a while before you're able to create an email message successfully.
There is, however, a preview function that allows you to check how your messages appear on mobile and PC. This courtesy doesn't extend to individual email clients like Gmail and Yahoo, unfortunately.
AWeber also lets you calculate your spam score according to your website's domain authority, username, and body copy. If nothing else, it allows you to improve your overall email deliverability so that your messages end up in your customers' inboxes, not their spam folders.
Although you can schedule message sending to future dates, AWeber doesn't automatically detect your customers' time zones or optimal times based on their past behavior.
- Advanced AI-powered email editor
- User-friendly automation builder
- Subscriber management options
- Advanced analytics
- The email editor is slow and clunky.
- Not the easiest platform to navigate
- Can't preview emails via individual clients
Making the Most of Email Marketing
Email marketing is not going anywhere, so if you've been putting it off, now is the time to integrate your business with one of these helpful email marketing software.
They are extremely useful for improving conversion rates, building email lists, and keeping audiences engaged. Even though some of them have a steep learning curve, it is no reason to ignore email marketing. You're better off outsourcing your email marketing needs to a dependable digital marketing agency than ignoring the practice altogether.
There is a reason why marketers have never abandoned it. When applied correctly, email marketing can dramatically increase your revenue.
About THE AUTHOR
After working for multiple digital advertising agencies and managing hundreds of client accounts, spending millions of dollars via Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Native Ads and Direct Media Buying, I took things out on my own and started SparrowBoost. Now, my tight-knit team and I continue to get smarter and more efficient at running our own campaigns and we share our knowledge with you.Learn more about SparrowBoost