5 Best Email Service Providers For Your Small Business

by | Aug 22, 2021

Finding new business prospects is important. They eventually become customers. Good email service providers often play a key role in accomplishing this goal.

A reputable email service provider (or ESP) organizes and sends your emails from its dedicated server.

If you attempted to send large volumes of email through your personal Internet, the company would likely block your campaigns. Or send them to the dreaded spam folder.

You have options. Continue reading to find out which service fits you.

Email Service Essentials

Besides sending the emails, a knowledgeable ESP helps to ensure that your business’ emails are legally compliant and authenticated. The company will also update your email database and keep your email lists secure.

After you run an email marketing campaign, a good ESP will provide complex metrics reports. Using this data, you can make updates to improve future response rates. 

Along these lines, a good ESP will offer proven expertise with marketing strategy and varied creative services. We will get into this more later.

Top Email Services 

Many ESPs are competing for your company’s business. Most vendors offer the same general services suites. However, some delve more deeply into certain aspects than others. 

Here are our top picks based on offerings and service.

1. AWeber 

AWeber is a proven leader in the email marketing software arena. The Company has 20 years of experience and over 1,000,000 customers under its belt, and its founder created the first autoresponder in 1998.

The versatile AWeber email marketing enables you to build (or import) a mailing list. Create crisp-looking newsletters and responsively designed emails using varied templates. 

Next, segment your email lists and build landing pages. Then, automate your marketing with autoresponders. Gauge your campaign’s effectiveness with AWeber’s suite of marketing analytics.

Of course, an effective email campaign can’t work if the emails don’t reach your recipients’ inboxes. AWeber is the acknowledged expert on email deliverability. 

The Company’s in-house team monitors email signals and identifies attempted email abuse issues. A team member will immediately remove low-quality accounts along with those that show a suspicious sending pattern.

Features: 

  • Templates for emails and newsletters
  • Mailing list construction or importation
  • Subscriber segmentation
  • Email automation via autoresponders
  • Full suite of analytics tools 
  • Superb deliverability reputation

Pros:

  • Full-featured functionality on all paid plans 
  • Full-stack email delivery with no outsourcing
  • Market-leading deliverability expertise
  • Excellent customer support on all paid plans

Cons: 

  • Very basic marketing automation capabilities
  • User prevented from broadcasting to multiple data segments at once
  • User is charged for hosting their account’s unsubscribed contacts

2. Constant Contact 

This beginner-friendly email marketing service provider features brand marketing and eCommerce marketing capabilities.

Constant Contact’s features combine to deliver a strong appeal to the small business market. This is due to scalability. Plus the contact metrics are easy to use.

This email service provider uses smart email automation. This allows users to use specific triggers to send emails to targeted recipients. This way you can send just the right amount of email without overburdening your potential customers.

Another strong aspect of Constant Contact is their social marketing capabilities. This makes it convenient to manage your Instagram and Facebook ads.

Features:

  • Mailing list expansion via website, text, and social media
  • Social media ads for awareness-building and lead generation
  • AI-driven email automation to project customer preferences

Pros:

  • User-friendly platform ideal for beginners
  • Very high deliverability outcomes
  • Numerous third-party integrations

Cons:

  • Design templates lack creative flexibility
  • High cost for thousands of email contacts
  • No multi-channel automation capabilities

3. MailerLite

If you’re looking for easy-to-use email campaign software that’s also budget friendly, MailerLite offers a good functional option. 

The program offers a nice package of features for newsletter and email creation. You can also perform varied tests to make your campaigns more effective.

Use MailerLite’s drag-and-drop editor to design an impactful email that will help to gain new subscribers. Create an attractive newsletter via free templates, custom HTML, or rich-text methods. 

Use embedded forms, landing pages, surveys, and pop-ups to help attract new customers. MailerLite also features a website builder.

To fine-tune your email campaigns, use MailerLite’s subscriber segmentation and A/B testing features. Then, put the email automation feature to work.

MailerLite includes a free plan for 1,000 or less subscribers. The features are limited, and you cannot send more than 12,000 emails each month. This option would work as an extended free trial.

Features:

  • Drag-and-drop editor for email creation
  • Website builder, landing page, and survey capabilities
  • Subscriber segmentation for targeted messages
  • A/B testing functionality
  • Email automation program

Pros: 

  • Simple newsletter creation mechanism
  • Business-friendly landing page option
  • Effective customer survey tool
  • Website builder that enables personalized content

Cons:

  • Sometimes-faulty email spam detection
  • Relatively high subscription price 

4. GetResponse 

GetResponse has designed its popular email marketing software to appeal to entrepreneurs. It also appeals to  marketing managers and online marketing specialists. 

After creating emails and newsletters, you can direct them to run via targeted landing pages, segmentation, email automation, and autoresponders. Automated blog digests are another useful tool.

To convert readers into customers, GetResponse’s Auto Funnel feature provides an effective conversion funnel sequence. Use A/B testing and/or the well-rounded analytics tool to track each email campaign’s performance.

Features:

  • Email and newsletter creation tools
  • Subscriber segmentation for personalized messaging
  • Email automation and autoresponders
  • AutoFunnel to drive conversions

Pros: 

  • Autoresponders for email and lead nurture sequences 
  • Retargeting campaigns via Facebook Pixel function
  • Landing pages that enable lead generation
  • Creation of paid Google, Facebook, and Instagram ads
  • Website visitor monitoring for targeted communication

Cons: 

  • Often-quirky drag-and-drop tools
  • Split testing feature only for subject heads and content
  • Somewhat laborious website builder
  • Many integrations require a third-party syncing program
  • No phone-based support unless on Max Plan 

5. Omnisend 

Omnisend is a user-friendly email marketing program that’s targeted to eCommerce businesses. To begin, note that Omnisend’s themed drag-and-drop email templates make it simple to create striking messages. 

Next, divide customers into targeted segments using their shopping behaviors along with other properties. Create personalized emails designed to appeal to each targeted group. Use email automation to send your messages when you’re most likely to reach your customers.

Besides welcome series and transactional messages, Omnisend’s automations include cart abandonment emails. Use SMS text messaging, web browser push messaging, and retargeted Facebook ads to win (or recapture) customers and prospects.

Features: 

  • Drag-and-drop templates for themed emails
  • Subscriber segmentation for personalized emails
  • Email automation with timed delivery 
  • Multi-channel customer retargeting media

Pros: 

  • Selection of email content templates
  • Effective audience segmentation 
  • Good overall user experience 

Cons: 

  • Limited email customization options
  • Non-optimal email scheduling function
  • Less-than-ideal customer service 

How To Choose the Right Provider

Knowing what to look for is important. Here are some key tips:

Ask The Right Questions

  • How intuitive and user-friendly is the email service platform? Are email templates provided?
  • Is the email service platform optimized for mobile use?
  • What email segmentation services are provided? How do they work?
  • What level of personalized messaging is available?
  • Does the email service platform support email automation?
  • When new features are released, will training be provided?
  • Is the platform scalable as my business grows? If yes, please explain.
  • What kind of tech support is provided? Is 24/7 support available?

Know Your Marketing Plan

To select an email service provider, first determine your business’ email marketing needs. Consider the purpose of your campaigns and how frequently you communicate with customers and prospects.

Look at Your Business Model And Growth Plan

Your email service provider should be compatible with your business model. For example, maybe your small business markets eye-catching home décor. 

To build a loyal customer base, and encourage customer purchases, you want to build relationships with your email recipients.

To accomplish these goals, consider personalizing your emails and including intriguing content and striking graphics. 

Your email service provider should be able to handle these tasks. A company that mostly works with tech industry clients may be less willing to accommodate your preferences.

Next, evaluate your business’ expansion plans. A full-featured email service provider should be able to add more services and accommodate higher email volumes.

If significant business growth is on the horizon, consider switching to an enterprise-level provider now. As services are more expensive, they may offer advanced features and more powerful capabilities.

Email Service Provider Key Features

Determined the scope of email services your business requires. Now, evaluate each email service provider candidate using the same criteria.

Platform Ease of Use: You (and your employees) should find the email service’s features simple and uncomplicated. Consider the system’s complexity along with the level of training and support.

Email Deliverability: Ensure that your business’ emails actually reach your recipients. You don’t want an Internet service provider to block your messages. And you don’t want the emails sent to the dreaded Spam folder.

Email Automation Capabilities: Successful email marketing campaigns often involve a series of automated emails based on customers’ and prospects’ actions. This practice leads to higher open and conversion rates. The right email service provider should be able to run automated email campaigns without a hiccup.

Seamless List Management: By targeting your emails to different list subsets, you’ll increase your chances of successful campaigns. Your email service provider should be able to segment the list using multiple criteria.

Reporting Tools: A well-rounded suite of reporting tools will measure each email campaign’s effectiveness. Your email service provider should offer several easy-to-understand (and useful) reports.

Multi-channel Integration: Your email service provider should ensure that your messages can easily be viewed on mobile devices. The provider should help to manage your business’ social media presence and gather relevant data.

System Security: To prevent theft of customer database information, your email service provider should have an adequate data security system in place. If your database includes highly sensitive information, ensure that a sophisticated system will protect that data.

How Much Should I Spend?

As with any business service for your business like taxes or payroll, ensure the service fee fits within your budget. Don’t make the decision exclusively based on price. Consider what you will get for your investment.

Here, look at each email service provider’s services and features, and weigh their value against the price. Compare the cost of sending emails via two different pricing methods: subscription vs cost per each thousand sent.

Next, look at typical add-on features and their prices. Examples include one or more dedicated IP addresses along with enhanced data storage. Add the cost of surveys and varied dynamic content.  

Final Thoughts

To choose the right email service provider, due your due diligence. Next pair down your top picks. If needed, request a free trial run from each one. Make sure you are satisfied with the system’s functionality and ease of use.

And finally, choose the right email service provider that fits your company needs. Adding this feature to your company will be a great asset to grow your customer base.

English Spanish