👉 Overall, ConvertKit is a similar tool to Drip, at least on the surface. It offers very similar features, but it might be both more expensive and cheaper than Drip – depending on how many contacts you have in your list. Also, I can’t find any ready-made templates for automations, which can cause some trouble if you’re a beginner. Here’s a summary of what ConvertKit offers in terms of automations.

The Elite Email cloud-based platform allows organizations of all sizes to build and grow their mailing lists, create emails, and track results with detailed reports and analytics. There's nothing to download or install with the software. With Elite Email, businesses can choose from more than 400 customizable templates to create email newsletters, promotions, announcements and coupons.

iContact. It’s a marketing automation solution with a powerful email marketing tool. iContact features lead generation and lead scoring to help you nurture the most promising prospects. The app has a landing-page builder, with options for HTML or template-based layout.  As a mailer, the app includes standard email marketing software tools, such as segmentation, A/B testing and list management. Moreover, it comes with social media management and analytics that allow for generating funnel reports. Other notable features are CRM, engagement tracking and workflow automation.
After narrowing the list down further, we contacted each company's customer service department by phone, email or live chat posing as new a business owner to gauge the support each service provided. We analyzed each service based on the following factors: Ease of use, Cost, Deliverability rates, Email creation tools, List management tools, Analytics, Social media integration, Third-party software integrations, Mobile access, Transactional email capabilities, Automation, Customer service.
iContact. It’s a marketing automation solution with a powerful email marketing tool. iContact features lead generation and lead scoring to help you nurture the most promising prospects. The app has a landing-page builder, with options for HTML or template-based layout.  As a mailer, the app includes standard email marketing software tools, such as segmentation, A/B testing and list management. Moreover, it comes with social media management and analytics that allow for generating funnel reports. Other notable features are CRM, engagement tracking and workflow automation.

Choosing a free plan to start with seems relatively risk free. You can always export your contact list, so if you don’t mind small ads or limited features, it’s easy enough to move between the generous free plans of Mailchimp or Benchmark. In any case, we hope this article gives you a good primer on the pros and cons of each service, so you can make your decision today.
Molly K. McLaughlin is a New York-based writer and editor with more than a decade of experience covering technology. She has tested and reviewed all sorts of software, mobile apps, and gadgets. Before launching her freelance business, she was an editor at PC Magazine, covering consumer electronics, followed by a stint at ConsumerSearch.com, a revie... See Full Bio
With Mailchimp, you can create the perfect automation for any situation. Provide educational resources to get new contacts acclimated with your organization or products. Share blog updates from your RSS feed, so your audience never misses out. Remind people to renew their membership and reward your top supporters. Or, build your own custom automations with triggers and send times that meet the unique needs of your business.
I don’t know, maybe I am not as experienced but my priority is – everything must be simple to use but come off as professional as possible. As well as automation, for now my resources are limited and I want to optimize as much as I can. So I dabbed with main email marketing services and the one that managed to really “Stick” with me was “Omnisend”. Great automation workflows – don’t have to worry about anything, welcome, birthday, cart recovery emails. As well as amazing newsletter builder. Just all in all a flexible tool for not as flexible audience.
I wondered, what are your thoughts on solutions like Mailigen, Vertical Response, Mad Mimi, and Campaign Monitor? I know there’s a never ending list of possible email software companies that you could compare, but these ones in particular interested me as they seem to offer many similar services to those that you mentioned. Have you come across them before, and if so would you advise using them over GetResponse?
What we liked: MailerLite’s ease of use makes it an ideal tool for getting started with autoresponders – even beginners can master setting up emails and campaigns fairly quickly. And it’s great that you can use all the features completely free of charge (as long as you have fewer than 1,000 subscribers). If you do need to upgrade, it’s one of the most competitively priced providers on the market – so it’s a great way to set up cheap autoresponders.
Next up is building an email newsletter. The best services offer several ways to do this; you can import your own HTML, start from scratch, or use a pre-designed template. Most of these services have drag-and-drop UIs that let you choose exactly the elements you want to include, as well as image libraries in which you can store assets such as your logo or company photos. Tools that let you test your emails for spam are also essential since there are some seemingly innocuous terms that may send up red flags and drop all of your hard work into your subscribers' junk folders or, worse, get your emails banned before they ever reach their recipients.

HubSpot CRM is a completely free tool that streamlines organizing, tracking, and nurturing your leads. As a product of HubSpot, one of marketing industry’s most trusted marketing platforms, you can ensure HubSpot CRM doesn’t scrimp on features. Since this product doesn’t have paid plans, you get all its inclusions at no cost. If you want to start using the features you can easily do so when you sign up for a HubSpot CRM free app here.
Analytics & reports. As with most business solutions, analytics and reports in email marketing software lend to your campaigns insights on its effectiveness. You get to measure key metrics like open rates, CTRs, readers’ length of stay on your email, trending content and demographics. Many email marketing apps also feature real-time campaign tracker that streams metrics as they occur, which helps you quickly shift the campaign if the results prove dismal.
The ability to track onsite events makes ActiveCampaign unique from other services. For example, you can track custom event calls from within mobile apps, billing apps and more. All your customer data will be organized in a sales CRM that gives you a complete picture of your customers. You can use this data to create highly effective marketing campaigns and followups.

Hi Bernie, actually time plays 3rd priority position to how you get customers to open your email. #1 is the message - what are you saying to get them to open the email?- on the subject line. #2 is making sure the content gives your customer information and opportunities that engage them into action. #3 is the day or time of day. Then as some have mentioned.. TEST! Be prepared to try different messages and times to see what resonates with your audience. Make sure to choose a service...


Wix ShoutOut is a simple email marketing software built for small businesses. It simplifies how you build and share email newsletters using its email marketing tools, designer-made templates, and intuitive builder. This allows you to customize the email’s design by changing the color, text fonts, and backgrounds, among others. It also ensures your email campaigns will look good when viewed on any device as they are mobile-ready. You can also evaluate its paid features at no cost when you sign up for a Wix ShoutOut free trial here.

I’d like to know when you think this will happen, too. It’s confusing, because you use the term “drip campaign” and say that Wysija can already do it, but then refer to autoresponders ins a series, which you can’t. To me, they’re the same thing. I guess to do it as things stand, you’d set up X number of individual messages all timed individually? At least it’s possible, but it sure is cumbersome. I hope this feature is at the top of your development list.
With EmailOctopus, you'll connect your Amazon SES account first to send your emails with Amazon's transactional service. Then design your email newsletters in EmailOctopus' rich editor, and add contacts to your lists. It'll send the email, track stats, and help you grow your list just like any other email tool. Only this time, it's using another service to send the emails and passing the savings on to you.

Full-featured email apps don't have to be complicated and confusing to use. VerticalResponse proves that with its clean, simple interface that makes it simple to make beautiful emails and send them to your contacts. You can use its pre-made templates, add your own photos complete with filters, and then turn the templates into both emails and matching signup forms.
Have a small business that needs email marketing? No problem, our email marketing system is made for small and large business. With our pay as you grow model we believe small business should have all the same features as large business, that’s why all of our accounts come with unlimited use and all features are unlock and available no matter what package you are using. Response Magic is the affordable, scalable choice for small and large business email marketing.

YouTube is becoming more and more important to marketers lean more heavily on video-based content. While, of course, you should continue to optimize your text-based content for search engine optimization, don't forget to consider Youtube as an important channel as well. Not only is YouTube great for hosting your videos and getting them shared across social networks, it's also important to optimize your videos for search to get found on Youtube as well. 


Getting started shouldn't be daunting. Generally, you'll know right away whether you like a user interface (UI) or not, and most of the contenders we reviewed offer free trials so you can poke around before dropping any cash. Luckily, most of these services have modern-looking graphics and uncluttered layouts. These are not the complex business software UIs of yesterday. Be careful, though, as some free trials require a credit card. This means you need to be sure to cancel your trial before you're billed if you're not happy with the service.
Plus, SendFree's autoresponders have a built in "Tell a Friend" referral builder that works 24/7 to drive traffic to your business. Prospects who request your autoresponder can use the referral builder link to tell others about your business and your autoresponder. Those referred individuals can then request your autoresponder. They'll use the referral builder link and tell others. Then those individual will tell others, and so on. This powerful word-of-mouth advertising continually exposes your business to new prospects.
Dropbox is the perfect tool to keep your team organized and your files under control. With cloud-based software to keep your files accessible anywhere at anytime, Dropbox helps your team store all of its files in a central location. Dropbox makes it easy to collaborate, too. With tools like Dropbox Paper, which allows you to write and collaborate in real time on the same doc -- and sharing tools for shared folders and files, you'll be organized and ready for any project that comes your way.
In actually, you can program it to respond when certain situations occur; such as when a client places an order the program will send a message to whatever fulfillment house you are using to complete the order. Or when a customer leaves prematurely, Office Autopilot will send them a special last minute offer. Basically all you do is select the trigger that sets in motion the action you want, when you want it, and what list it should use. Plans start at a little more than two-hundred a month.
Vertical Response is great email marketing tool for creating professional newsletters as it offers tons (over 700) of designs for email newsletter templates. It also has a lot to offer in terms of editing and integrations (e.g. various CRM software, survey software and more). Additionally, users can create landing pages, conduct A/B testing (e.g. subject line performance), test emails using the Vertical Response test kit and much more.

Your emails will look great everywhere, since the templates are designed to look great on mobile, and you can have your newsletters automatically shared on Facebook. Once your announcements have gone out, you can come back and check your stats from both your emails and your social network shares, and see what interactions that campaign brought in. And if you need more professional features, their Pro+ service can do your email and social marketing work, including design, for you.

GetResponse offers nonprofit organizations an astounding 50% off their purchase. This discount enables you to keep your costs very low while sending out a high volume of emails. You’ll have access to hundreds of templates, making it easy to design a professional-looking email that fits well with your organization’s style. If you have a substantial contacts list, you can upload them directly to GetResponse, which saves you quite a bit of time. GetResponse also integrates with popular social media outlets, including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, so you can easily share your messages across those platforms.
Whether you already have a list of subscribers or are starting from scratch, email marketing services can help. All of the services we cover let you add contacts manually using copy and paste or by uploading CSV or Microsoft Excel files. Some integrate with third-party software enabling you to import Gmail and other webmail contacts, Salesforce.com and other customer relationship management (CRM) data, or other software where you might have contacts stored. Depending on the size and location of your list, third-party integration could be key. Verify whether you can export contacts as well (and how easy it is to do so) should you leave the service. Managing users who unsubscribe should also be easy so you're not accidentally contacting anyone who has opted out of your newsletters.
But there's a happy medium if you'd like more control. You can host your own email app, and then use a transactional email sending service—including Amazon SES, Mailchimp's Mandrill, SendGrid, and Mailgun—to send your messages. That gives you the flexibility of an app that you control, the cost savings of bulk email sending, and the confidence of sending emails with a dedicated service that delivers your messages to any email app, anywhere.
Last but absolutely not least – Aweber, GetResponse and Vertical Response all have solid Privacy and Anti-Spam Policies in place that are 100% trustworthy as of Dec 2016 at last check. All companies change their policies though so always check the final print (toward the bottom) and make sure you know exactly what you and your clients have “Opted In” for.
We tweaked templates and built emails from scratch, edited photos with in-service editors, and tested preview capabilities for both desktop and mobile platforms to ensure your emails are able to grab your subscribers’ attention at first glance. While most services offer simple drag-and-drop editors for designing emails and sign-up forms, capabilities vary: Campaign Monitor, for example, provides a variety of templates for sign-up forms but restricts the amount that they can be personalized.
When customers leave your site without buying anything, retargeting creates the awareness they need about your brand and a clear path back to your store. Ideally, retargeting is part of a long-term strategy for businesses that already have a solid following. They are particularly helpful in specific moments, like when you want to promote your best selling stuff, advertise a new collection, or feature surplus items. See how retargeting ads work around the clock to keep your brand top of mind and encourage potential customers to take the next step.

Thanks for the article, it was also interesting and inspiring to see your other ventures in diverse fields. Would like to connect 1:1 in the near future. Meanwhile, even I had done a similar comparison as I myself handle email marketing for my organization. Do check it out as well as for the readers of the blog since it covers 2 additional players.
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