Is your blog or website ready to start email marketing? Are you looking for the right email marketing software that allows you to create web forms for WordPress, autorespond to new subscribers, and eventually hold your amazing newsletter to-be? Choosing the best email marketing platform is a crucial step we all take, because once you began to build a list you will store literally everything subscriber related within your provider of choice. In this post we’ll cover 5 great choices for your email marketing service to help you pick the right one.
Best Email Marketing Service Criteria: The Features to Look For!
Things you should look for in an email marketing service, for example the ability to create a wide variety of enticing forms. Here’s what we firmly believe your email marketing service should offer you in their base plan:
- Autoresponder ease of use (autoresponders are the first email that go out to your new readers turned subscribers, and are essential to creating a nice first impression.
- Email blast ease of use: We all want to easily send newsletters and announcements. Doing this should be super-duper easy, like one of the first buttons on your dashboard.
- Subscriber tracking: You’ll want to track subscriber data like which form someone subscribed through, what emails people open, link clicks, and which emails of yours perform the best overall. See screenshot below in the Aweber section.
- Subscriber management: Can you easily add someone to your list? Add 10 people? Export them all to an Excel spreadsheet? Delete someone? You should have all these tools ready at your fingertips.
- Beautiful & versatile web forms: Can you change colors, backgrounds, fonts and add images easily to your forms using a drag & drop method? We think this is essential to create email marketing forms of all types, so that they match your brand!
- Pricing: Free is great, but over time, you may find you are willing to pay X amount on a regular basis for quality and peace of mind, especially if you’ve monetized your list. We’ll include the price and introductory offers of 5 email service softwares below.
Most email providers come with a subset of these criteria and tools. But of the 5 we’ve tracked, only one came with all of them, that being Aweber Email Marketing.
Let’s start by reviewing the best email marketing service provider from our findings, then, shall we? All the email marketing softwares listed below can help you business a a great deal, and are better than nothing. But you should know which one we use and recommend, in case you’re in a hurry to get started!
Aweber is one of the earliest players in the email marketing space. They’ve been around forever, and thus know what customers like us bloggers, and our customers we ourselves collect, truly need. When it comes to capturing subscribers on a blog or website, especially those powered by WordPress, there’s nothing like Aweber.
We originally found Aweber through an Australian blogger named Blog Tyrant, who praised Aweber in the early days of email marketing in his first eBook.
Well, let’s just say we were glad he introduced us to the AW.
All of the forms at DearBlogger.org are now built with Aweber, so we are admittedly a bit biased on it’s abilities as we’ve use them to our own great successes, but let’s start at the top and walk through why it’s worked so perfectly over the years.
Aweber let’s you create unlimited forms for your website, and style them so they fit exactly as you want into your WordPress theme. When we began using Aweber in 2012, we setup a sidebar form, a small thin footer form, and a large community page form. Each one looked totally different, with different images, and held a unique purpose.
Here we can see the sidebar form in editing mode in the Aweber dashboard. It’s a simple form – just an image created with Canva, a field for email with some custom text, a button, and a couple links. But Aweber makes it all possible just how I imagined it. Notice the easy buttons to add a new field, or drag them around.
Let’s back up even more though. Before you create a form, you can choose from all of these templates.
It’s not Halloween yet, but this form sure makes me want to hear more about it.
With a drag and drop builder, you can add image after image, change the width and height of forms, add links and text boxes, or just use the premade forms which come with natural and robust designs from their in-house design team.
Once your forms are live on your blog or website, each day you can log in and see which form is doing the best.
To install an Aweber form onto your website, just copy paste a small chunk of pregenerated code into a text widget in your sidebar. You can also paste right into a post or page.
AND, when you edit the forms on Aweber’s end and save, they update on your website right away because they are dynamic subscription forms.
So, we could talk about how easy it is to send a quick newsletter with Aweber. Or we could talk about how they pioneered the autoresponder strategy and have some of the best open rates among any email service provider (meaning they stay out of the trash). With a successful email automation series, where you send out 1 email per week from a set of premade emails, you can truly experience passive income streams generated by email lists. This is because one subscriber might be on email 5, while the new gal is one email 1, while another reader is in the middle. You can take people on an email journey at their own pace, and do all of the work in advance then sit back and field the comments. But you’ve got to do it right.
These features all make Aweber the easiest and most enjoyable email marketing service to use for bloggers and website owners.
HEADS UP: It was difficult at some other providers to change the color of forms, add fonts, change images on a form say to insert an eBook, and so one. And when we contacted support at some other providers, they responded it wasn’t possible. So if you go with a provider that doesn’t have a quality web form designer be prepared to use a simple white form with little customizations, or have your web developer who knows how to add the right styles through HTML and CSS. At Aweber it’s very easy to design forms with the drag & drop builder, or you can edit the HTML/CSS they generate for you if you’d like.
But above and beyond, it is the technology and resources Aweber has put into their drag and drop form builder that make them #1. Afterall, your form entices the reader to subscriber. If the form looks below standards or unpro, you’ve wasted all your efforts.
Pricing: Aweber offers a 30-day free trial with full access to all their tools, after which plans begin at $19/month but can be discounted for quarterly or annual purchases.
MailChimp is a highly popular email marketing service for bloggers, social media professionals, event managers and many more small to large sized businesses. There are several reasons they’ve risen to the top 3 email marketing service providers, and it’s not just their cute mascot.
MailChimp has what’s called a Forever Free plan, which let’s you send 12,000 emails for up to 2,000 subscribers. That’s right, you won’t pay a dime until you pass the 2,000th subscriber mark, which in our case took well over 2 years (don’t listen to anyone who sells an eBook on how to get 10,000 subscribers easily, it’s not).
So the free option gets most people in the door, but what do they find inside? MailChimp has an easy email creator, a nice tag system, autoresponders and analytics all at your fingertips.
You can easily insert an email sign up form from MailChimp onto WordPress, Magento, Shopify and more so integration is no problem. To change the font or text and such, you can edit the copy paste CSS which MailChimp generates for you, or you can make life really easy and install a MailChimp for WordPress plugin.
The one problem we found with MailChimps email marketing service is the difficulty in navigating their free version to find where to create auto response emails. It can be a little tricky to figure out which list you’re in, and what tool you’re working on, though it is obviously doable with a little practice.
Just like the rest, support comes at your through email, live chat, phone and a knowledge base of easy to use tutorials, which we love!
So if your goal is to create a simple website, slap a form on it, and do it on the really, really cheap, MailChimp is ideal.
Pricing: Forever Free up to 2,000 subscribers, then plans start at $10/month.
3. Constant Contact
Constant Contact is one of the best known and fastest growing email marketing services in the world. Their name resonates from television ads and neighborhood classes at local coffee shops.
They allow each customer to easily manage their email lists, email templates, new contacts, old contacts and more.
Their support system is vast as well, and you know we love good support and easy to understand answers. They can be reached through email and phone during business hours, and have a huge library of how to resources on their website.
Moreover, the give each account their own image library, complete with social sharing tools you can add to emails and the ability to easily produce reports if you’ve got a boss keen on email marketing.
We love Constant Contact especially because of their support for small businesses. Their form builder is highly simple and you can easily create fields like Name, Email, and various buttons. It is without a doubt a successful choice for the small business email marketer who just needs something simple, easy to use, that just plain works.
Pricing: Constant Contact offers a 60-day free trial. Cancel or upgrade any time. After that, plans start as low as $20/month.
ConvertKit has many powerful tools for experienced email marketers and bloggers. It is a one stop marketing shop in many ways. It’s known to be the next step up from other email marketing providers, once you’ve scaled your business into the 50,000 to 100,000 email subscribers range.
They have a feature called Content Upgrades, which acts as it sounds and let’s people receive more or improved versions of your content if they are interested in taking it to the next level, and of course comes with autoresponders, aka drip emails, analytics, tag segmentation and all sorts of interesting tracking tools.
It really is an email marketers dream, which is no wonder smart minds like Pat Flynn have moved to ConvertKit.
Pricing: Plans start at $29/month and have a 30-day refund policy.
5. Get Response
GetResponse is a massively popular email marketing solution. It’s extremely beginner friendly and their easy of use has helped them really grow among small businesses and non profits.
It comes with some of the web’s best email marketing tools which let you send one-time email blasts and entire newsletters to your growing email list. Their most popular features might be their A/B testing portal. It’s here where you can split test different emails on groups of subscribers. Such testing can really maximize the impact your emails have and thus your conversions and profits.
Of course, like all the others in their best email marketing service review, it integrates well with WordPress, Magento, Joomla, Shopify, Blogger, Tumblr and even email marketing addons like Zen Desk and OptinMonster.
Pricing: Get Response has the 30 day free trial option, after which pricing begins at $15/month.
We hope this email marketing service review gave you a good idea of what’s out there and more importantly, what successful bloggers and online marketers are using! You may also want to see our article on how to create an eBook once you’ve made your pick.
Did this post give you the confidence to choose the best email marketing platform? Did we leave any stones unturned? Let me know in the comments what you’re looking for!