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Digital Marketing, Online Courses

7 Best Email Marketing Platforms for Entrepreneurs in 2023

With so many email marketing platforms available, choosing the right one can be a long and laborious process.

But in this blog post, I’m not going to overload you with 30+ platforms and thousands of words of fluff. Instead, I’ve hit the easy button for you and narrowed down the 7 best and most practical platforms for entrepreneurs.

So let’s explore the facts and features of these top 7 email marketing platforms and find the one that works for you.

For ease, this list is in alphabetical order.

1. ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign is an all-in-one marketing platform that empowers users to build and manage their campaigns.

Users can quickly design their own emails with its drag-and-drop builder, track performance using advanced analytics tools and automate engagement with powerful features like autoresponders, segmentation and more.

ActiveCampaign’s Stand-Out Features

  • Email marketing automation and campaign management
  • Built-in CRM
  • Marketing automation, including website visitor tracking and lead scoring
  • Customizable, pre-built automations and workflows
  • Segmentation and tagging of contacts
  • A/B testing of email campaigns
  • Advanced reporting and analytics
  • Integrations with 900+ apps and services
  • Built-in forms and landing pages

What ActiveCampaign Could Do Better

  • UI and UX aren’t very user friendly for non-techie users
  • Steep learning curve for email marketing newbies
  • Most useful features only available in higher-priced tiers
  • No free plan

ActiveCampaign Costs (and What You Get)

Lite – 12 USD/month (paid yearly)

  • Email marketing
  • Marketing automation
  • 24/7 chat & email support
  • 1 user seat

Plus – 66 USD/month (paid yearly)

  • Includes everything in the Lite plan
  • Landing pages
  • Facebook custom audiences & lead ads
  • Lead scoring
  • Pop up and modal forms
  • 3 user seats

Professional – 201 USD/month (paid yearly)

  • Includes everything in the Plus plan
  • Predictive sending
  • Split automations
  • Automation mapping
  • Salesforce & Microsoft Dynamics 365 integrations
  • 5 user seats

Enterprise – Talk to sales for pricing details

  • Includes everything in the Professional plan
  • Custom reporting
  • Custom objects
  • Single sign-on
  • Enterprise security
  • Update Service Level Agreement
  • 10 user seats

ActiveCampaign is the Email Marketing Platform For You if…

You’re a tech-savvy business owner looking to level-up your marketing powers because you’ve outgrown your existing email service provider.

For example, if your business is scaling and you’re acquiring increasing amounts of customer data, or you’re an online course creator with a growing audience, ActiveCampaign’s suite of features can help with the heavy lifting of automating your sales and email marketing processes.

2. AWeber

Aweber helps businesses of all sizes create, send and track email campaigns. Complete with an AI-powered email design assistant, a robust library of email templates, a drag-and-drop landing page builder and integrations galore, Aweber is a newbie-friendly email marketing workhorse.

Aweber’s Stand-Out Features

  • Powerful integrations with hundreds of platforms, tools and apps
  • High deliverability rates
  • Track open, clickthrough and subscriber engagement rates
  • Campaign marketplace with done-for-you email workflows
  • Contact tagging and dynamic content based on subscribers’ behaviors
  • A/B testing of marketing campaigns
  • Free plan for lists of up to 500 subscribers
  • Detailed analytics to help you glean more insights about your audience
  • Essential eCommerce features like subscriptions and payment plans, sales tracking and purchase tagging

What AWeber Could Do Better

  • Pricier compared to competing platforms
  • Less feature-rich compared to competing platforms
  • Several templates look dated and need a facelift

AWeber Costs (and What You Get)

Aweber Free

  • Up to 500 subscribers
  • 1 landing page
  • 1 email automation
  • Web push notifications
  • Drag and drop builder
  • Email templates
  • Sign up forms

Aweber Pro – Starts at 16.15 USD (paid yearly)

  • Includes everything in Aweber Free
  • Unlimited email lists
  • Advanced email automation
  • Remove AWeber branding
  • Detailed insights and analytics
  • Webpage and sales tracking
  • Split testing
  • Cheaper transactions fees for eCommerce

Aweber is the Email Marketing Platform For You if…

You’re new to email marketing and need a platform that offers a wide range of features, is easy to use and has a strong deliverability rate.

AWeber is handy option for small businesses and solopreneurs just starting to build their email lists and need the basic, essential features to help cut their teeth in email marketing.

3. ConvertKit

ConvertKit is a popular email marketing solution for online creatives like bloggers, Podcasters, YouTubers and course creators. It aims to make it ridiculously easy to send and create targeted, automated email campaigns to help engage, grow and monetize your audience.

ConvertKit’s Standout Features

  • Massive knowledge base with detailed tutorials for the ConvertKit’s features and use cases
  • A visual automation builder for quickly and easily creating complex marketing campaigns
  • Landing page builder and opt-in form templates designed to boost conversions
  • Automation library filled with templates for common use cases like product launches, welcome campaigns and webinar sign-ups
  • Advanced tagging and segmentation options for creating highly targeted email lists
  • Sell digital products and subscriptions directly through your account
  • Paid newsletter workflow

What ConvertKit Could Do Better

  • At scale, ConvertKit is very expensive compared to competing platforms
  • Basic analytics — ConvertKit only provides data on opens, clicks and unsubscribes
  • Limited design customization for email templates
  • Currently, only subject lines can be split tested

ConvertKit Costs (and What You Get)

Free – 0 USD up to 300 subscribers:

  • Unlimited landing pages
  • Unlimited broadcasts
  • Audience tagging and segmentation
  • Sell digital products and subscriptions
  • Community support

Creator – Starts at 9 USD/month:

  • Includes everything in the Free plan
  • Free migration from another tool
  • Automated email sequences
  • Visual automation builders
  • Third-party integrations
  • One additional user seat

Creator Pro – Starts at 25 USD/month:

  • Includes everything in the Creator plan
  • Newsletter referral system
  • Subscriber scoring
  • Advanced reporting

ConvertKit is the Email Marketing Platform For You if…

You’re an online creator looking for a simple platform to drive audience engagement, boost sales and strengthen your personal brand.

4. Keap

Keap is an all-in-one sales and marketing automation platform designed for entrepreneurs and small businesses. It comes fully-loaded with a range of features to help manage sales and marketing processes.

The potent combo of a CRM and marketing platform make Keap a worthy contender for small businesses that collect a lot of customer data and who want to leverage this data to create highly personalized email campaigns.

Keap’s Standout Features

  • Create, send, and track email campaigns with a range of highly-customizable templates
  • Built-in CRM to manage contacts and track customer touchpoints and engagement
  • Automatic lead scoring to help prioritize prospects and personalize content
  • Detailed analytics on campaign performance
  • Automated subscriber tagging and segmentation
  • Built-in invoice and payment processing to help you manage sales pipelines

What Keap Could Do Better

  • Steep learning curve may be too complex for tech novices
  • Really expensive for what you get, especially when compared to simpler, cheaper alternatives
  • Comes with a $499 one-time “onboarding fee” (this onboarding includes 5 “Keap coaching sessions” that train you on the platform. However, this fee on top of the expensive monthly subscription may steer some buyers clear)

Keap Costs (and What You Get)

Pro – Starts at 129 USD/month (paid yearly)

  • Includes 1500 contacts and 2 user seats
  • Email marketing
  • Sales & marketing automation
  • Dedicated phone line (US & Canada)
  • Automated lead capture & follow-up
  • Lead & client management (CRM)
  • Appointment booking
  • Sales pipeline & analysis
  • Quotes, invoices & payments
  • Landing pages & online sales
  • Text marketing

Max – Starts at 199 USD/month (paid yearly)

  • Includes everything from the Pro plan
  • Includes 2500 contacts and 3 user sears
  • Promo codes & upsells
  • Marketing analytics

Keap is the Email Marketing Platform For You if…

You have an established business, tons of customer data you want to leverage and have outgrown your existing email marketing platform. Ideally, businesses with sales teams and complex sales funnels will benefit the most from Keap’s all-in-one solution.

5. Mailchimp

Mailchimp is often a email marketing newbie’s “first stop” platform before they graduate to more sophisticated tools.

For starters, it has a simple, intuitive interface. Plus, for a beginner-friendly platform, it has many of the same premium features you’ll find in a more advanced product.

Mailchimp’s Standout Features

  • Forever free plan allows novice users to experiment with email marketing
  • Predictive demographics uses data science to predict your contacts’ age and gender, allowing you to target your audience segments with greater confidence
  • Built-in ad builder for creating Facebook, Instagram and Google ads to retarget your audience across multiple channels
  • Multivariate test your campaign’s subject lines, from name, content and send time, to see which configuration performs the best
  • Personalized product recommendation tool uses your contact’s purchasing data to suggest relevant products

What Mailchimp Could Do Better

  • Monthly email limits may cause you to outgrow lower-priced plans quickly (Mailchimp also charges overage fees if you exceed your email limit)
  • Paid plans get very pricy as your list grows
  • Limited automation capability compared to other platforms

Mailchimp’s Costs (and What You Get)

Free – 0 USD/month (up to 500 contacts)

  • 1 user seat
  • Email support for the first 30 days
  • Pre-built email templates
  • 300+ integrations
  • Basic reporting & analytics
  • Forms & landing pages
  • Creative assistant

Essentials – Starts at 13 USD/month

  • Includes everything in the Free plan
  • 3 user seats
  • 24/7 email & chat support
  • Role-based access (2 roles)
  • Remove Mailchimp branding from emails
  • A/B testing
  • Email scheduling
  • Automated customer journeys

Standard – Starts at 20 USD/month

  • Includes everything in the Essentials plan
  • 5 user seats
  • 24/7 email & chat support
  • Role-based access (4 roles)
  • Enhanced customer journeys
  • Pre-built journeys
  • Custom-coded templates
  • Predictive segmentation
  • Content optimizer
  • Send time optimization
  • Dynamic content

Premium – Starts at 350 USD/month

  • Includes everything in the Standard plan
  • Unlimited user seats
  • Phone & priority support
  • Role-based access (5 roles)
  • Multivariate testing
  • Comparative reporting
  • Advanced segmentation
  • Assisted onboarding

Mail is the Email Marketing Platform For You if…

You’re a small business, startup, entrepreneur or online store owner with a limited budget who wants to dabble in email marketing and learn the ropes.

6. MailerLite

MailerLite is an email marketing platform that budget-conscious creators and small business owners will appreciate. Not only is it feature-rich and affordable, but its clean user interface makes it easy to understand and navigate.

Mailchimp’s Standout Features

  • Simple, transparent pricing
  • A generous free plan
  • Intuitive drag-and-drop email and landing page builder with modern template designs
  • No-code website and blog builder with dynamic content blocks
  • Stripe integration to monetize your emails and/or website and landing pages
  • Promotional pop-up and embedded form designer to generate leads
  • Embed surveys on emails or landing pages to gain valuable insights about your audience
  • Smart email delivery based on timezones — schedule your emails to be delivered at the same time in each timezone

What MailerLite Could Do Better

  • No templates available in the free version
  • Provides email-only support on their “Free” and “Growing Business” plans
  • Limited automation triggers compared to other platforms

MailerLite Costs (and What You Get)

Free – 0 USD/month (up to 1000 subscribers)

  • Includes key platform features
  • 12,000 monthly emails
  • 1 user seat
  • Monday – Friday email support
  • Drag and drop editor
  • Email automation builder
  • Websites
  • 10 landing pages
  • Sign-up forms and pop-ups

Growing Business – Starts at 9 USD/month (paid yearly)

  • Includes everything in the Free plan
  • Unlimited monthly emails
  • 3 user seats
  • 24/7 email support
  • Sell digital products
  • Unlimited emails
  • Auto resend campaigns
  • Unlimited websites and blogs
  • Unsubscribe page builder

Advanced – Starts at 19 USD/month (paid yearly)

  • Includes everything in the Growing Business plan
  • Unlimited monthly emails
  • Unlimited users
  • 24/7 live chat and email support
  • Facebook integration
  • Custom HTML editor
  • Promotional pop-ups
  • Multiple triggers in automations
  • Preference center

MailerLite is the Email Marketing Platform For You if…

You’re a creator or small/medium business owner looking for a simple, feature-rich email marketing platform that focuses on growing your business.

7. SendinBlue

SendinBlue is a full-stack sales and marketing automation platform. It provides businesses with a range of features to help them communicate with their customers through email marketing, SMS and chat.

With a wide range of automation capabilities, list management features, email templates and a built-in CRM, SMBs may find that SendinBlue fits their email marketing needs.

SendinBlue’s Standout Features

  • Drag-and-drop email builder with a fully-stocked email template library
  • Heatmaps that tell you where people click in your email so you can optimize CTA positions
  • Send-time optimization to ensure your emails are delivered at the most optimal time
  • Advanced automation workflows for creating highly personalized subscriber experiences based on their behavior.
  • SendinBlue Tracker lets you create custom automations based on how your subscribers interact with specific pages on your website

What SendinBlue Could Do Better

  • Limited customization options for the drag-and-drop email editor
  • Limited A/B testing variations — just subject lines and content
  • Few integrations compared to other email marketing platforms
  • Low daily sending limit on free plan (300 emails)

SendinBlue Costs (and What You Get)

Free – 0 USD/month

  • Unlimited contacts
  • 300 emails/day
  • Customizable emails templates
  • Drag & drop email editor
  • Transactional emails
  • SMS & WhatsApp campaigns

Starter – Starts at 25 USD/month

  • Everything in the Free plan
  • Unlimited contacts
  • From 20K emails/month
  • No daily sending limits
  • No SendinBlue logo (add-on)
  • Basic reporting & analytics
  • Email support

Business – Starts at 65 USD/month

  • Everything in the Starter plan
  • Unlimited contacts
  • From 20K emails/month
  • Marketing automation
  • A/B testing
  • Advanced statistics
  • Multi-user access
  • Send time optimization
  • Phone support

Enterprise – Talk with sales for pricing

  • Everything in the Business plan
  • Unlimited contacts
  • Enterprise-grade security
  • Advanced integrations
  • Sub-account management
  • Tailored onboarding
  • Personalized support
  • Flexible contract

SendinBlue is the Email Marketing Platform For You if…

You’re looking to scale your business quickly using email marketing in addition to other marketing channels, like SMS and chat.

Which Email Marketing Platform is Your Favorite?

And that’s a wrap!

Which platform caught your attention and why?

Let me know in a comment below 🙂

Love it? Hate it? Let me know...

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About the Author Marisa Murgatroyd

Marisa is the founder of Live Your Message, where she turns entrepreneurs into Online Superheroes, and the creator of Start With You where she helps people just like you to discover the business they're meant to build, not just the business they can build. At 4’11 and a quarter, she’s called the shortest woman in marketing — and that doesn’t stop her from having huge ideas. She’s the “go to” brand builder for industry luminaries and heavyweights such as Justin Livingston, Callan Rush, Danny Iny, Alexis Neely and Susan Peirce Thompson. Marisa helps entrepreneurs create a business that is authentic and aligned with who they are, to empower them to turn up the dial on their “inner superhero”, so they can be the superhero to their tribe, as well as in their own lives.

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