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Email Marketing Software: The Ultimate Guide

Email Marketing Software: The Ultimate Guide

Email marketing has become essential to any digital marketing strategy in 2024. With over 4.4 billion daily email users worldwide, email remains one of the most effective channels for engaging customers and driving conversions. However, executing a successful email marketing campaign requires the right email marketing software and tools.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore everything you need to know about email marketing software heading into 2024 – from understanding its purpose and benefits to evaluating the top software solutions on the market this year based on your unique business needs and budget.

What is Email Marketing Software?

Best Email Retargeting Tools

Email marketing software refers to specialised tools and platforms designed specifically for sending marketing emails and running email campaigns. The core capabilities of email marketing platforms include:

  • Building and managing email lists and subscriber data
  • Designing professional-looking email templates
  • Setting up automated email workflows and triggers
  • Integration with other marketing tools
  • Detailed analytics on email performance

In short, email marketing software takes care of all the technical heavy lifting so you can focus solely on creating great content and campaigns to engage your subscribers.

Benefits of Using Email Marketing Software

There are many excellent reasons to use dedicated email marketing tools and software to execute your campaigns rather than relying on generic tools like Office 365. Here are some of the most compelling benefits:

1. Higher Deliverability Rates

Email marketing software is optimised to achieve superior inbox placement across all major email providers and platforms. This ensures your target audience receives and opens your emails.

2. Automation Capabilities

Automate routine email tasks like welcome messages for new subscribers, activity-based triggers, and customer lifecycle workflows powered by an intuitive drag-and-drop builder.

3. Email Design & Brand Consistency

Professionally designed email templates with easy personalisation ensure your brand identity and messaging stay consistent across all campaigns.

4. Detailed Analytics & Insights

Robust analytics show open/click rates, subscriber engagement metrics, campaign ROI and performance trends over time so you can optimise future efforts.

5. List Management Options

Simplify building segmented subscriber lists using filters and groups while complying with anti-spam regulations.

6. Integrations With Other Tools

Connect your email software seamlessly with other platforms like your CRM, ecommerce store, marketing automation system and more to create powerful customer experiences.

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Next, compare the leading email marketing software solutions in 2024 to determine the best platform for your needs.

Comparing Top Email Marketing Platforms for 2024

Choosing the right email marketing solution depends mainly on your budget, experience level, particular use case and functionality needs. Below, we compare the five top-rated email software options across several key factors:

Email Marketing Software Comparison

SoftwareIdeal ForPriceBest For
MailchimpBeginners with basic email needsFree – $299/moSmall Businesses
SendinblueGrowing businesses seeking advanced automationFree – $800+/moDigital agencies, Medium-Sized ecommerce
GetResponseEcommerce brands and online course creators$15 – $2,500+/moEcommerce brands, Online course creators
ConvertKitCreators and influencers$49 – $3,196+/moBloggers, Creators, Influencers
ActiveCampaignData-driven marketing automation$9 – $259+/moMid-size and enterprise customers

Let's explore those significant email marketing software solutions in more detail below.

#1 Mailchimp – Best for Beginners

Mailchimp Email For Startups

Trusted by over 15 million users globally, Mailchimp is the world's #1 email marketing software built specifically for growing small businesses. The software shines with its simple email builder, excellent templates, automation capabilities and easy-to-understand reports – making it the top choice for beginners dipping their toes into more advanced email marketing.

Key Features

  • Intuitive drag-and-drop builder: Quickly build beautiful, mobile-responsive emails from hundreds of professionally designed templates without any coding skills needed.
  • Pre-built automation: Guide subscribers through pre-made multi-email journeys like abandoned carts, welcome series, weekly digests and more.
  • Basic segmentation: Use groups and tags to target subscribers with relevant content to increase engagement.
  • Ecommerce integrations: Connect online stores to track purchases and trigger post-purchase or abandoned cart emails.
  • Visually compelling reports: Dive into essential metrics like open, clickthrough and unsubscribe rates through visual, easy-to-digest reports.

Ideal For

Mailchimp is the premier email marketing software for growing small businesses thanks to its balance of simplicity and powerful functionality. Typical users include:

  • Ecommerce stores looking to drive repeat purchases and increase average order value
  • Small service-based businesses like consultants, agencies and professional services to nurture leads
  • Brick-and-mortar retailers seeking to build 1:1 digital relationships with customers
  • Organisations and nonprofits engaging with members, donors and volunteers

Pricing

One of Mailchimp's most significant selling points is its forever-free plan, which covers basic functionality and up to 2,000 email contacts. Paid subscriptions start at $14.99/month for up to 500 contacts, with volume discounts available.

#2 Sendinblue – Best for Automation

Sendinblue Email Marketing Tool

As a leader in email marketing automation, Sendinblue empowers growing businesses to create beautiful, high-converting email campaigns that drive results through powerful automation workflows.

With its motto “Automation Simplified”, Sendinblue makes it easy to transform one-off emails into fully automated sequences based on customer behaviours and activity. This helps businesses communicate with contacts at precisely the right moment to boost engagement.

Beyond best-in-class automation capabilities, Sendinblue also loads all the other essential tools for effective email marketing—from responsive templates to advanced analytics and seamless CRM integrations. The software is rated #1 in user satisfaction thanks to its optimal balance of simplicity and powerful functionality.

Key Features

  • Workflow Automation Tool: Create targeted, multi-step email campaigns based on any imaginable trigger—from sign-ups and anniversaries to web page activity, purchases, clicked links and more.
  • Machine Learning Capabilities: Let AI analyse data and patterns across contacts to determine user segments most likely to engage, click and convert.
  • High Inbox Placement: Sendinblue achieves industry-leading 97% inbox placement rates for maximum email deliverability.
  • Deep Analytics: Get the complete picture of your audience and campaign performance through intuitive, visually compelling reports and dashboards.
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Ideal For

Sendinblue appeals most to digital marketing agencies and growing ecommerce brands working with large volumes of website traffic and customer data in need of workflow automation to scale 1:1 engagement efforts.

Pricing

Sendinblue offers an incredibly generous free plan, covering up to 300 contacts, including automation and unlimited emails. Paid subscriptions start at $35/month for 3,000 contacts. Volume-based discounts are available for more extensive email lists, with custom enterprise pricing for advanced functionality.

#3 GetResponse – Best for Ecommerce

Getresponse Email Marketing

Top-rated GetResponse stands out as the best email marketing software for ecommerce brands thanks to its wealth of tools optimised specifically for driving conversions and sales.

GetResponse allows online retailers to turn one-time buyers into loyal, high-lifetime-value customers through behavioural email marketing automation tailored to each subscriber's product interests and activity history.

While harnessing automation and personalisation capabilities to boost revenue, GetResponse also delivers exceptional deliverability to reach inboxes alongside gorgeous, on-brand templates presented flawlessly across all devices. With the software's confusion-free campaign creation workflow, even non-technical users can execute sophisticated email strategies to unlock growth.

Key Features

  • Shopping Cart Automation: Visual campaign builder tailored for ecommerce lets you turn product views, abandoned carts and purchases into immediate, personalised follow-ups.
  • Email Funnels: Guide subscribers through multi-email sequences with different calls-to-action based on behaviours and metrics.
  • Conversion Tracking: Pixel tracking and advanced analytics provide complete visibility into email's impact and ROI across the buyer's journey.
  • Webinars: Easily create & execute live or automated video webinars to engage customers.

Ideal For

GetResponse offers the complete email marketing toolkit for customer-centric ecommerce brands in sectors like:

  • Multi-product online retailers and D2C brands
  • Digital download stores (SaaS, eBooks)
  • Course creators and online learning platforms

Pricing

GetResponse pricing starts at $15 monthly for up to 1,000 subscribers on the Starter plan. Volume-based pricing exceeds Enterprise-tier packages tailored for major brands managing substantial subscriber lists.

#4 ConvertKit – Best for Bloggers

Convertkit Email Marketing Tool

Dubbed the “email marketing platform built FOR creators BY creators”, ConvertKit is explicitly purpose-designed around the needs of bloggers, influencers and content creators who rely heavily on email subscribers as their core audience.

Compared to other solutions catering mainly to ecommerce stores, ConvertKit is 100% optimised for sending broadcasts, driving repeat web traffic through sequences, and converting audiences into course sign-ups or other premium offerings.

The platform excels at creative content-focused strategies, with innovative automation based around tags and sequences instead of complex workflows. This simplicity empowers bloggers to execute incredibly tailored, personal subscriber communication that feels like individual emails crafted for close friends rather than bulk blasts.

Key Features

  • Sequences: Automate multi-email journeys to re-engage cold subscribers, onboard newly signed-up contacts, prompt course purchases and much more.
  • Broadcasts: Send regular updates, newsletters and announcements to your subscriber base or targeted segments.
  • Tags & Segments: Organise contacts by behaviours, interests and other filters to personalise content.
  • Web Forms & Landing Pages: Embed email sign-up forms across your website and create dedicated opt-in landing pages to grow your audience.

Ideal For

As the name indicates, ConvertKit best caters to creative entrepreneurs like:

  • Bloggers
  • Influencers
  • Podcasters
  • YouTubers
  • Online course creators
  • Digital download sellers
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Pricing

ConvertKit pricing starts at $49/month for up to 1,000 email subscribers—making it very affordable for solopreneurs. Custom enterprise pricing is also available for mega influencers and creators managing up to 1 million+ highly engaged subscribers.

#5 ActiveCampaign – Best for Marketing Automation

Active Campaign Email Automation Platform 1

Trusted by 150,000+ businesses worldwide, ActiveCampaign goes beyond essential email marketing to offer full-featured marketing automation spanning email, messaging, CRM and more. This makes it the best scalable solution for mid-market and enterprise teams with complex workflows.

While supporting typical email functionality like templates, forms and automation, ActiveCampaign also provides advanced lead scoring, AI-powered personalisation and deep multi-channel integrations with platforms like ecommerce stores, webinar software, chat tools, paid ads and beyond. All campaign activity and contact data flow into a unified dashboard to inform brilliant cross-channel customer experiences.

With this native connection between messaging channels, marketers execute orchestrated narratives that evolve prospective customers from anonymous visitors into loyal brand advocates and repeat buyers.

Features

  • Lead Scoring – Track engagement metrics to identify sales-ready prospects
  • CRM Capabilities – 360 customer profiles and pipeline visualisation
  • Messaging Integrations – SMS, live chat, messaging apps
  • Deep Analytics – Irresistibly visual and actionable reporting
  • AI-Power Personalization – Custom 1:1 content tailored to individual interests

Ideal For

  • B2B companies
  • Enterprise organisations
  • Ecommerce brands
  • Agencies managing multiple client accounts

Pricing

ActiveCampaign starts at $9/month for 500 contacts. Volume tiers are available up to “enterprise” packages fully customised to large, complex businesses.

Now that we've provided an overview of each platform's strengths, ideal use cases and pricing, let's discuss how to determine which solution is right for your needs.

How to Select the Best Email Software for Your Needs

Choosing your email marketing software ultimately comes down to three key factors:

  • Your Objectives – What KPIs are you aiming to achieve? (Brand awareness? Lead generation? Sales?)
  • Your Audience – Who are you communicating with, and what messaging channels do they use?
  • Your Resources – What level of complexity fits your team’s skills and bandwidth?

With those elements clearly defined, you can evaluate software against must-have functionality aligned to your goals alongside preferences like ease of use, integrations, scalability and budget thresholds.

Beyond the recommendations above, you should request free trials and demos to get hands-on with platforms as a final check before committing.

Now that we’ve covered how to select software let's dive into best practices for creating effective emails and campaigns fueled by these powerful platforms.

Crafting Engaging, High-Converting Emails

Email Newsletter Design

Leveraging intuitive email marketing software eliminates the technical heavy lifting of executing campaigns, letting you focus purely on creative strategy and compelling content.

Here are pro tips for ensuring your emails captivate audiences and drive results:

1. Segment Your Lists

Avoid sending blanket blasts to your entire list. Instead, organise contacts into groups using filters like demographics, interests and purchase history to align content accordingly.

2. Establish Brand Consistency

Ensure your emails' look, tone, and messaging align seamlessly with other touchpoints like your website, ads and social channels.

3. Find the Right Sending Cadences

Determine optimal send frequencies and timing workflows tuned to audience preferences, so you engage without overwhelming.

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4. Personalise Content

Use merge tags, segmentation and transactional data to tailor emails around individual subscriber profiles and behaviours.

5. Make Mobile Optimisation a Priority

Over 60% of emails are opened on mobile. Ensure your templates and content shine on smaller screens.

6. Use Visuals to Command Attention

Images, GIFs and videos can make your emails instantly more engaging, memorable and shareable.

7. Leverage Automation Extensively

Take one-off campaigns and transform them into always-on lifecycle sequences through automation.

8. Provide Clear Calls-to-Action

Every email should guide readers to the next steps for converting them further down the funnel.

Executing standout email marketing ultimately comes down to finding the right mix of creative messaging and strategic delivery tailored directly to what moves each subscriber segment towards its next milestone.

Now, let's explore tactics for measuring impact and continually optimising performance.

Email Marketing Analytics Essentials

The most sophisticated email software empowers you to execute brilliant campaigns, but analytics enable you to refine those efforts for maximum effectiveness.

Robust email solutions provide an invaluable feedback loop, letting you witness subscriber behaviours firsthand and adapt instantly using that intelligence.

Here are the key metrics essential for continual optimisation:

Analysing Performance By Subscriber Segment

You can take this analysis even further by drilling into performance differences across targeted groups.

Compare open, click and conversion rates for various:

  • Demographic segments
  • Email types (promotional vs transactional)
  • Lifecycle stage (new vs loyal buyers)

This illuminates areas for improvement and helps you double down on tactics that resonate best with each distinct audience.

Now, let's explore proven strategies for getting the most from your email software…

Advanced Email Marketing Tactics to Boost Results

Best Examples Of Welcome Emails

Once you have established solid fundamental email capabilities, you can unleash more advanced functionality from your platform to take campaigns to the next level.

Here are seven sophisticated email marketing tactics that generate tremendous lift:

1. Send Automated Behaviour-Based Emails

Set up workflows triggered by specific user actions, like email opens, clicked links and pages visited, to deploy hyper-targeted follow-ups.

2. Integrate With Your Tech Stack

Connect your email software with other martech tools like your CRM, ecommerce platform and website analytics for complete visibility into subscriber data and behaviour.

3. Offer Email Preference Centres

Let subscribers manage their communication preferences, so you provide value without fatigue.

4. Execute A/B Testing

Try subject line variations, content offers and calls-to-action to guide optimisation.

5. Monitor Social Channels

See which emails get the most engagement when subscribers organically share with peers on social media. High-performance emails resonate broadly with your target audience.

6. Review Spam Analysis Reports

If deliverability rates drop, spam analysis reveals why emails ended up blocked or flagged so you can resolve issues.

7. Track ROI Throughout the Customer Lifecycle

Understand the marketing value of campaigns based on engagement at each subscriber stage, not just final conversions.

Advanced tactics like these accelerate performance and avoid over-complicating efforts. Adopt a crawl, walk, THEN run approach with new capabilities.

Master email fundamentals, then expand complexity in manageable phases tied directly to moving core KPIs.

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Let's wrap up with five key takeaways to inform your email marketing strategy in the year ahead.

Top Email Marketing Takeaways

  • Continue focusing on subscriber experience above all else – relevant, engaging and NON-intrusive communications tuned precisely to their preferences.
  • Double down on personalisation powered by segmentation and automation based on behaviours and attributes.
  • Adopt an integrated, omnichannel approach tying email to your broader marketing technology stack for complete visibility into customer data and insights.
  • Maintain flexibility and patience. Expect continual platform evolution as email solution vendors react to market needs.
  • Perhaps most importantly – commit to regular testing and optimisation, making minor but continual improvements over time vs radical change.

Email Marketing Software FAQs

Still have some lingering questions about getting started with email software? Here are answers to 5 commonly asked questions:

What does an email marketing platform do?

Email software centralises all tools for creating emails and campaigns, including list management, templates, automation workflows, analytics and integrations with other tech solutions.

What results can I expect from email marketing campaigns?

Adequately executed email generates substantial lifts across metrics like subscriber growth, engagement rates, funnel movement, repeat purchases and more. Most brands see 2X+ ROI from email investment.

How long does it take to see results from emails?

Lifecycle dictates immediate vs delayed impact. Onboarding welcome series see instant activity, for example, while retention boosting takes longer visibility based on ongoing subscriber value. Generally, expect a minimum of 3-6 months for accurate measurement.

What does email marketing software cost?

Pricing varies widely from free entry-level plans to $1K+ enterprise platforms, with costs correlated to several contacts, features, and usage limits. However, ROI should greatly outweigh software expenses for most established brands.

Is email marketing compliant and secure?

Top software vendors ensure built-in measures for data security and privacy compliance. However, businesses maintain responsibility for transparency through permission-based opt-ins and user preferences management.

Final Takeaway

Email marketing software provides specialised tools for executing captivating, high-converting campaigns. The platforms explored in this guide represent the top solutions available in 2024 based on critical factors like functionality, ease of use and audience alignment.

If you maintain an obsessive focus on creating subscriber value through engaging, inbox-centred experiences, you will unlock immense marketing potential through these continually advancing email solutions.

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Stuart Crawford

Stuart Crawford is an award-winning creative director and brand strategist with over 15 years of experience building memorable and influential brands. As Creative Director at Inkbot Design, a leading branding agency, Stuart oversees all creative projects and ensures each client receives a customised brand strategy and visual identity.

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