Email marketing is an excellent channel to connect with customers, drive new visitors to your website and build meaningful relationships with your audiences. As a small business owner, you might have less time than you’d like to spend on email activity, so choosing an email marketing service to support you could be a wise business decision. 

In this article, we’ll compare the top 5 email marketing services that would be most useful for a small business, while covering the following topics:

  • Why is email marketing important?
  • The 5 best email marketing services for small businesses
  • What to look for in an email marketing service

Why is email marketing important?

Perhaps you are trying to update your current customers, bring more customers to your website or generate more business opportunities. Email is a channel you can use to get your message straight into the inbox of your audience for all these purposes and more.

Benefits of email marketing

Email marketing can increase the repeat visits you get on your website. Engaging emails can build familiarity and trust with your customers, meaning they are more likely to purchase with you again.

Email marketing is known to increase sales if used effectively, as customers can purchase either directly from the email or after exploring your website. Email actually has better conversion rates than social media or organic search traffic, so when done right will provide you with a better return on your marketing investment. That’s why finding an email service that supports your needs can be a very worthwhile expense.

The 5 best email marketing services for small businesses

1) Constant Contact

Constant Contact is often cited as the most user-friendly platform for email marketing beginners. It uses a simple drag and drop editor so that you can pull together an email quickly and easily, with lots of templates to give you inspiration.

The platform also has lots of features that help boost engagement rates, such as automatically resending emails to recipients who didn’t open them. This follow-up feature ensures that your hard work crafting emails doesn’t go to waste, if your open rate is less than you hoped. It also has testing features so you can test what works best in emails, and social media tools too, so you can get lots of use out of the package. 

However, there is no free option. Packages start at £15 per month and will go up depending on how many contacts you have on your email list. This platform is a great all-rounder for beginners to learn and improve their email skills for a modest price.

2) Sendinblue

Sendinblue has many pre-designed templates and also has a drag and drop editor to make it easy to create emails, sign-up forms and landing pages, too. It has a very comprehensive analytics dashboard for monitoring emails’ performance, as well as creating custom audiences to make your emails more relevant.

This user-friendly platform is great for beginners with little technical knowledge, and pricing starts at £16.50 per month. This could be a great option for small businesses who want to create emails quickly or who maybe don’t have as much of an eye for design, where the templates will come in handy.

3) MailChimp

MailChimp is one of the oldest and most popular email platforms, because it is easy to use and has lots of features that make it simple for beginners to create effective emails. For example, it features drag and drop editing which makes it easy to design an email in minutes. It also offers detailed testing and analytics to learn from email campaigns, as well as great customer support to help you with any difficulties.

If your small business has less than 2,000 contacts, you can use MailChimp for free.

If you want to purchase extra features or have more than 2,000 subscribers, prices start at £7.79 a month. There are also ‘Pay as you go’ options if you only need email software on an ad-hoc basis.

4) MailerLite

MailerLite hosts a lot of features to let you create email content, however they only have a few templates available to work from. But if you want to create from the scratch, the email builder is also simple to use.

If you have less than 1,000 subscribers, you can use MailerLite for free. If you have more, prices start at £7.60 per month and increase depending on how many contacts you have. This is a very cost effective solution for small businesses to start their email venture with.

5) Getresponse

Getresponse has great templates and easy design tools, but also has bonus features that can improve your engagement rates, such as their ‘Perfect Timing Tool’. This calculates the best time to send your emails to your audience, so that your open and click rates are as high as possible. This saves you testing emails over months and finding this out on your own.

The basic plan for Getresponse starts at £9.40 per month, with no free option.

What to look for in an email marketing service

When choosing the platform that is best for you and your business, here are some factors to bear in mind so that you get one that does everything you need it to:

  • Is it easy to use for your knowledge level? If you are a beginner with email marketing, choose something that feels intuitive, where you can easily build an email without having to fiddle with complicated HTML code.
  • Choose something that allows for automation. Using software that saves you time will free up hours for other business activities, especially if you are a one-person operation.
  • Some email services may serve specific industries better than others, so research if there are any providers that fit your market better.
  • Always check that the pricing on your chosen platform fits with your budget. Most providers have package levels, so if you find a lot of success with your email activity, you can always pay a little more and have access to more features.

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