An Email Marketing Service is an online service provider that manages and organizes email subscribers and lets bloggers tag and segment, create rules and automation, build sales funnels and, of course, send broadcast emails to all (or subsections of) subscribers.
Building and maintaining an email list is critical to increase reader engagement, generate consistent traffic, and sell products and services. If you are a blogger (or you're selling anything online), you need an email list.
Did you know that 269 billion emails were sent and received every day in 2017?
Features of Email Marketing Services
As with any other type of service, email providers offer different kinds of functions and present those features in different ways. However, there are some basic features of any email service provider that bloggers need to have, such as:
- Subscriber tagging and segmenting
- Broadcast click rate and open rate
- Automations and rules to customize email experience
- Sequences to automatically send a series of timed email broadcasts
- Link triggers to help organize subscribers based on interest
- Nice to have: Pre-built email templates
The vast majority of reputable email marketing providers offer these features, including those mentioned in this article.
The best Email Marketing Services for bloggers
ConvertKit is one of the most well-designed email marketing services I've found, and it offers features like automated digital product downloads, email sequences (used for email courses), link triggers, rules, and automation.
With ConvertKit, you can also design your email forms using their new form builder as well as landing pages with lead magnet forms to collect emails.
If you're a WordPress user, use ConvertKit's free plugin to help place opt-in forms throughout your site. Form types include traditional inline, modal popup (after a click), slide-up, as well as a pop-up.
The biggest drawback of ConvertKit is the lack of a sophisticated email builder. Emails are designed by hand using HTML and CSS, though ConvertKit strongly believes that emails should be simple and easy, not complex, and full of design and imagery.
Pricing: Plans start at $29/month (when paid annually) for up to 1,000 email subscribers. All plans offer all features.
MailChimp is one of the only major players in the email marketing business with a free email plan (and it allows up to 2,000 subscribers). Even at their paying levels, they are one of the least expensive options around, though I've found other EMSs to be more usable and feature-rich.
Though, it's feature set is limited at that level, it is also one of the most popular and well-used ways for newer bloggers to get into the email marketing business without spending a dime. It's a steal for the price that you pay.
For the record, I started with MailChimp when I first began my email list, then upgraded to ConvertKit once my needs grew.
Pricing: Plans start free for up to 2,000 subscribers, then at $10/month for different capabilities and unlimited subscribers.
AWeber has been in this business for a long time and offers bloggers a well-rounded email marketing experience, including a drag and drop email builder, rules and automation, autoresponders, and a slew of templates to help get your email started.
AWeber also offers a sophisticated RSS to Email builder to help customize automatically-generated emails whenever you publish something new on your blog (use this technique carefully!).
Pricing: Plans start at $19/month for up to 500 email subscribers after a 30-day free trial.
Constant Contact is one of the fastest-growing email marketing services around. Choose from one of the hundreds of mobile-optimized email templates, set up autoresponders, sales funnels, Facebook lead ads, and product downloads.
Their marketing is also the best in the business with video-based tutorials and a slew of resources to help build your forms and integrate them into your site.
Though their email builder is powerful and slick, we wish that there were more options available to set up rules and automation in their less expensive plan.
We do like their 60-day free trial!
Pricing: Plans start at $20/month for up to 500 email subscribers after a 60-day free trial.
We've found Drip to be one of the more light-weight and user-friendly email marketing providers, especially for those just starting.
Create opt-in forms, build emails visually, tag and segment email subscribers, integrate with Facebook, and a ton of integration capabilities for external applications like WordPress if you're a developer, API access, too.
Pricing: Plans start at $49/month for up to 2,500 email subscribers with a 14-day free trial.
6. Get Response
Get Response is fast, well-designed, and competitively priced. They offer a drag-and-drop email builder, autoresponders, A/B testing, and a whole bunch of email form templates to design beautiful and effective opt-in forms quickly.
Pricing: Plans start at $15/month for up to 1,000 email subscribers (with limited features) after a 30-day free trial.
Campaign Monitor has one of the most feature-rich email builders in the business, complete with all kinds of templates to choose from and drag-and-drop customization options.
Those its pricing is attractive, especially for smaller businesses; more advanced features like tagging and segmenting are not available until you upgrade to the ‘Unlimited' plan. Even still, the basic marketing plan definitely has enough to get anyone started.
Pricing: Plans start at $9/month for up to 2,500 email subscribers.
Active Campaign is an enterprise marketing platform with a bunch of advanced capabilities that go beyond simple email marketing. Active Campaign offers Sales and CRM features, SMS messaging capabilities, and integration into enterprise platforms.
Active Campaign does have a tailored set of features for bloggers, which includes features like tagging and segmenting, opt-in forms, landing pages, and site tracking
Pricing: Plans start at $9/month for up to 500 email subscribers.
A new player in the business, Cloudy, is one of the more unique providers in that they charge per email, not per subscriber.
If you're looking for more flexible pricing options using a new service with the expressed intent to “disrupt” the industry, Cloudy might be your option. Though the features of the new system appear limited, they do support automation, reporting, email templates, and custom fields (rather than tags and segments).
Pricing: Plans start free for 25,000 emails, then $1 per 1,000 emails sent.
Steve Adcock is an early retiree who writes about mental toughness, financial independence and how to get the most out of your life and career. As a regular contributor to The Ladders, CBS MarketWatch and CNBC, Adcock maintains a rare and exclusive voice as a career expert, consistently offering actionable counseling to thousands of readers who want to level-up their lives, careers, and freedom. Adcock's main areas of coverage include money, personal finance, lifestyle, and digital nomad advice. Steve lives in a 100% off-grid solar home in the middle of the Arizona desert and writes on his own website at SteveAdcock.us.