Effective email marketing software helps turn your leads into customers so we’ve taken a look at the best email marketing software for small businesses of 2021 that work on both Mac and Windows.
Email marketing is an incredibly cost effective way for a small business to market itself offering a huge Return on Investment (ROI) compared to traditional forms of advertising.
However, choosing the right best email marketing platform is crucial if your campaigns are to be successful.
- What To Look For In The Best Email Marketing Software
- 1. Constant Contact (Best For Small Businesses)
- 2. GetResponse (Best For Agencies)
- 3. Direct Mail (Best For Mac Desktops)
- 4. Omnisend (Best For Ecommerce)
- 5. AWeber (Best Value)
- 6. ActiveCampaign (Best For Automation)
- 7. Zoho Campaigns (Best For CRM)
- 8. Klaviyo (Best For Shopify)
- 9. Autopilot (Best For Automated Marketing)
- 10. OutBoundEngine (Best For Content Marketing)
- 11. MailChimp (Best For Integrations)
- 12. ConvertKit (Best Free Email Marketing Software)
- Email Marketing Templates For Mac
- Bulk Email Software & Spamming
What To Look For In The Best Email Marketing Software
The days of harvesting emails using crawlers and spamming are long gone.
Nowadays, email marketing is a highly specialized field and no longer just a case of sending out bulk email blasts and hoping for the best.
Effective email marketing nowadays is all about permission marketing which means accurately targeting potential customers, allowing them to opt-in, engaging them, following-up and ultimately, converting them into clients.
The best email marketing solutions also include their own lead generation and CRM tools to help you manage email campaigns every step of the way.
In our extensive research, we found that all the best email marketing solutions are now Cloud based with very few having desktop apps for either macOS or Windows.
The reality is that unless you really want to have everything saved on your desktop, you’re really limiting your business by searching for Mac or Windows desktop only email marketing software.
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With this in mind, here then are the best small business email marketing providers of 2021 in order of ranking.
Constant Contact has been in the email marketing business over 20 years and is still the best email marketing software for small businesses in 2021.
Constant Contact is an incredibly well designed email marketing solution that takes the complexities of email targeting and makes it easy.
If you’re a small business or non-profit that doesn’t have time to learn the ropes of email marketing but needs an effective, understandable and reliable solution, Constant Contact is an excellent choice.
From automatic welcome emails, subject line testing and contact segmentation years of experience in the email marketing industry has made Constant Contact a very refined tool.
One thing that stands out in Constant Contact is that Contact Management is very well done compared to many email marketing apps and it allows you to import lists from Excel, Outlook, Salesforce and more.
Constant Contact has lots of customizable templates with powerful analytics tool that make it easy to measure the ROI from campaigns and shows you how you can increase conversion rates with different approaches.
Constant Contact can also be integrated with our favorite landing page software LeadPages which enables you to convert visitors into customers quicker.
Pricing for Constant Contact is divided into two types – Email and Email Plus.
Email Plus is the most professional solution and includes added features including email automation, A/B testing, online donations, surveys/polls and coupons.
You can start using Constant Contact now for free with no credit card required before committing to any plan and there’s a 30 day money back guarantee.
You can also check out our full Constant Contact review for more.
- Incredible range of professional templates
- Unique Event Management tools
- High deliverability rates
- Easy to learn and use
- Limited marketing automation tools
GetResponse is an incredibly complete email marketing automation platform which goes way beyond just mail outs.
GetResponse covers everything from email campaigns and form creation to creating landing pages and webinars in one package.
It’s extremely easy to use, very reasonably priced and looks perfectly at home on both Mac and Windows.
Among the many features of GetResponse are Email Marketing, Marketing Automation, Landing Pages, Webinars, CRME Commerce Forms & Surveys List Building & Management Analytics & Optimization
GetResponse has some excellent marketing automation tools to trigger specific events based on customer behavior. It’s very easy to customize when you want these events triggered.
GetResponse produces slick and professional email blasts with little effort via a WYSIWYG drag and drop interface.
The email creator is one of the best we’ve used allowing you to create customized emails in minutes by simply choosing one of the many templates.
There are over 500 templates and 1000 copyright free stock images to get you started which you can edit and customize.
This includes everything from Opt-in Pages, Sales Pages and Promo Pages.
The great thing about GetResponse is that it has a Free Forever Plan which allows you to use a basic version of GetResponse for as long as you want.
If you need capacity for more subscribers, GetResponse has reasonably priced plans starting at $15 per month for up to 1000 subscribers with plans of up to 10,000 subscribers available.
You can also get 10% off GetResponse for a limited time with no credit card details required.
You can also check out our full review of GetResponse for more.
- Easy to use
- Great for creating effective landing pages
- Ideal for agencies
- CRM integration with Salesforce
- Lots of free stock images
- Free Forever plan
- Analytics tools are limited
- Online support only
Direct Mail is one of the few desktop email marketing tools that’s designed specifically for Macs.
Although it can’t compare to the other cloud based solutions reviewed here in terms of features, it’s ideal for small businesses that want a Mac desktop solution.
Direct Mail which has lots of elegant and professional looking template designs to choose from.
The templates are easy to customize although you can only modify things like the amount of columns, titles, text and tables you want to insert.
If you know HTML though, you can import your own templates from scratch or you can import email marketing templates from apps like Apple Mail, Mail Designer, MailChimp, Campaign Monitor or any other HTML document.
Direct Mail uses a WYSIWYG interface so you can see your mailshots take shape as you edit them. Adding images is simply a case of dragging and dropping them into the interface and they are automatically optimized for Retina displays.
Particularly useful in Direct Mail is the Email Preview feature which allows you to design test how your newsletter will look in 30 different email clients depending on the email account your customers are receiving in (such as Gmail, Hotmail, Outlook, Thunderbird etc).
The tracking tools in Direct Mail are useful and succinct, providing a clear overview of the opened and unopened rate with the top 5 most clicked links clearly visible.
Reports can also be delivered to your iPhone via a free app called Stamps for Direct Mail.
However Direct Mail definitely is not suitable for businesses with a large subscriber base though and it’s quite basic as an email marketing tool.
For example there are no landing page creation tools, no webinar features and the automated features are very limited.
You can use Direct Mail free for up to 50 mails per month but beyond that you need an unlimited or pay-as-you-go subscription.
Depending on the number of bulk e-mails you want to send, Pay Per Email rates range from $15 for 500 recipients to $99.99 for up to 10,000 recipients.
Direct Mail is the perfect mailing list software for Mac for individuals that want a native macOS email marketing application although it lacks the power and marketing automation features of the professional solutions.
You can check out our full Direct Mail review for more.
- Mac desktop client
- Slick email templates
- Easy to customize templates
- No landing page creation tools
- No marketing automation tools
Omnisend is a powerful but easy to use email marketing platform with strong e-commerce and marketing automation tools.
Omnisend allows you to setup automated emails by segments and sends both SMS and MMS messages to leads or contacts.
There are pre-built automations for cart abandonment, welcome emails and transactional emails depending on where in the cycle your customers are.
Omnisend allows you to target customers based on shopping behavior and has powerful segmentation tools to improve conversions with personalized emails and texts.
One of the unique touches to Omnisend Pro plans is that you can get an Omnisend Customer Success Manager to help you setup and manage campaigns.
If you’re already using another email marketing solution a Customer Success Manager will help you migrate your email campaigns over to Omnisend.
Omnisend also has amazing one-click ecommerce platform integrations with an easy to use Product Picker that’s integrated with Shopify, Big Commerce, Woo Commerce and many more.
Omnisend offers a limited free plan for up to 15,000 emails per month or 2,000 subscribers with fully functional paid plans starting at $13 per month.
You can try Omnisend for free to judge it for yourself.
You can also read our full Omnisend review for a closer look at this excellent Ecommerce email marketing platform.
- Lots of Ecommerce integrations
- Product Picker integration with multiple ecommerce platforms
- 2000 free subscribers mailouts per month
- Powerful analytical tools
- Lots of professional templates
- Gives a good ROI compared to other ecommerce email marketing tools
- No phone support
- Email customization limited
AWeber has been around since 1998 and in that time and in our opinion, is still one of the best value online email marketing platforms available.
AWeber was one of the original email marketing automation solutions and creates highly targeted campaigns with little effort on your part.
If you like to have mobile control over your campaigns on the move too, the AWeber mobile app is also arguably the best we’ve seen in an email marketing software.
AWeber is packed with professional templates based on different themes and the quality is particularly good compared to the competition.
Email Automation, known as “Campaigns” in AWeber, is probably one of the software’s strongest features and helps build stronger customer relationships and more targeted campaigns.
AWeber will trigger follow-up emails, SMS messages and other actions depending on how you want to configure it meaning you don’t have to manually go through your reports and then follow-up afterwards.
When dealing with thousands of subscribers, this is incredibly useful and time-saving.
For instance you can setup a Welcome Campaign for new subscribers and then trigger Educational and Sales Campaigns afterwards depending on the response and actions of your contacts.
The way AWeber handles this is extremely easy – you simply drag and drop actions and order them in the priority you want them to happen.
AWeber is free for up to 500 subscribers with plans for up to 25,000 subscribers available.
- Lots of reporting tools
- Excellent value for money
- Slick, useful mobile app
- Free plan limited to 500 contacts
- Limited analytics tools
ActiveCampaign is easily the most hands-off email marketing system we’ve used.
ActiveCampaign is not just a powerful email marketing platform but also a customer experience automation (CXA) software.
Not only does it do much of the hard work for you by automating email marketing but it’s extremely easy to use.
The main thing we like is that ActiveCampaign makes it extremely easy to create attractive email marketing campaigns that actually work.
ActiveCampaign is built around the idea of Marketing Automation which means that it triggers personalized emails to potential leads based on certain actions they make without you having to do anything.
This intelligent approach to mailout campaigns is not just time-saving but effective too because it’s incredibly well targeted.
The email editor in ActiveCampaign is an easy to use WYSIWYG editor that allows you to drag and drop text and images and customize things like fonts, titles and colors.
There are many themed templates to speed things up and all are optimized for mobile devices too. You can of course manually modify HTML and CSS if you know what you’re doing.
ActiveCampaign also includes its own Sales and CRM system to help bring everything together and manage everything under one app.
Like almost all bulk email software, pricing for Active Campaign depends on the number of recipients you’re sending to.
Active Campaign has Enterprise plans for more than 100,000 subscribers which includes unlimited sending, email marketing, newsletter sending and marketing automation.
You can try Active Campaign for free with no credit card require.
- Amazing automated email marketing tools
- Migration help transferring from other platforms
- Excellent integrated CRM
- Lots of third party integration with other software
- Steep learning curve at first
- Pricey for very large contact databases
If you’re already a user of Zoho’s huge suite of products, then look no further than Zoho Campaigns.
Zoho also has one of the most user friendly CRMs around in Zoho CRM which is fully integrated with Zoho Campaigns.
Zoho Campaigns has a ton of attractive newsletter templates which cover everything from Black Friday to seasonal events and other themed campaigns.
It has a simple drag-and-drop interface and you can set up follow-ups and other automated actions to manage your campaigns.
Zoho Campaigns is obviously integrated with all other existing Zoho products and there’s also third-party integrations with tools like G Suite, SurveyMonkey, Facebook, YouTube, WordPress etc.
Zoho Campaigns has a Forever Free plan that allows you to send up to 12,000 emails a month to up to 2,000 subscribers and beyond that plans are reasonably priced.
- Easy to use
- Integrated with Zoho CRM
- Integration with other Zoho products
- Free plan for 12,000 contacts
- Aimed mainly at users of other Zoho software
- Email templates are dated
If you use Shopify as part of your ecommerce business or email marketing campaigns, then look no further than Klaviyo.
Klaviyo is one of the most powerful email marketing solutions out there for online stores and is especially well integrated with Shopify.
Klaviyo has a plugin for Shopify which helps you to recapture lost sales, segment your audience and send super targeted email campaigns to your visitors.
Klaviyo is also integrated with Salesforce, Justuno, Stripe, WooCommerce, Magento, BigCommerce and more.
Klaviyo has some incredibly powerful automated features both for mailouts and SMS messages.
Unlike it’s nearest equivalent Omnisend, Klaviyo assumes that you already have some experience with email marketing so beginners will find it quite complex to figure out at first.
Pricing starts at $30 for up to 300 users with enterprise deals for over 150,000 subscribers available.
You can sign-up free for Klaviyo and there’s even a personalized walk-through available if you need it.
- Excellent integration with Shopify
- Lots of third party integrations
- Powerful ecommerce automation and targeting tools
- Takes a lot of learning
As the name suggests, Autopilot is all about automating as much of your email marketing campaigns as possible.
Autopilot helps you create highly personalized emails, SMS texts and even in-app messages which should in turn return better conversion rates and reader loyalty.
Everything in Autopilot can be synced with most major CRM software or Google Analytics.
Autopilot uses sophisticated tracking and organizes your clients including such things as Smart Segments to group users of similar values or demographic.
There are also tools to help you perform A/B testing to improve your marketing strategies.
Autopilot has a basic email composer which allows you to create professional mail outs although it doesn’t support dragging and dropping or resizing of images.
There’s integration with Facebook which notifies you of the exact link that someone has clicked on allowing you to turn anonymous clicks into leads or customers.
Once they’re added to your contacts, the actions and activities of these users is automatically tracked by Autopilot.
Autopilot is a very well-organized email marketing software and certainly gives you a high degree of control over automated marketing and capturing new contacts.
It is considerably more focused on marketing automation than design though and doesn’t have the range of templates and email design flair that most of the marketing software featured here do.
Pricing for Autopilot starts at around $20 for 1000 contacts or $40 a month for business users that need Salesforce integration, A/B split testing and segment.com integration.
If you want to focus on pure email marketing automation, Autopilot is a powerful, easy to use option but it lacks the comprehensive tools of the top picks.
- Automated marketing features are impressive
- Powerful A/B testing tools
- Excellent social media integrations
- Lacks of email templates
- No drag and drop image support
If you don’t have the time or money to invest in a full-time email marketing effort, then look no further than OutBoundEngine.
OutBoundEngine is expensive starting at $179 per month but for that price, the company provides its own in-house copy writing, marketing design and tracking services.
All marketing material is branded for your business and the OutBoundEngine team can produce material in just a few days after receiving logos and other assets from you.
This makes OutBoundEngine very different from other email marketing software and is obviously reflected in the significantly higher price compared to other options.
It means you don’t have the expense of employing your own large in-house marketing team (or any at all) and is definitely worth closer inspection, especially for small businesses.
One other nice thing we like about OutBoundEngine is that it allows you to setup and track your own referral program so that users and customers are encouraged to spread the word about your services.
Pricing for OutBoundEngine mainly depends on the number of subscribers you want to target.
It starts at $179 per month for the Basic Plan for up to 300 contacts which includes branded content for your marketing campaign, two automated email campaigns per month, engagement tracking and support from the OutBoundEngine team whenever you need it.
The Value plan is $229 per month and supports up to 1000 contacts and 30 social media posts per month. The Premium Plan costs $299 per month and supports up to 10,000 contacts plus the bonus of quarterly referral campaigns.
The best thing to do is try a free demo of OutBoundEngine where they’ll ask for you a few details about your business and then send you a sample of the kind of material they can produce for you based on your business and branding.
- Allows you to contract out email marketing content
- Tracking and analysis is done for you
- Allows you to setup your own referral program
- Only suitable for those that don’t want to create their own content
- Expensive plans
MailChimp is one of the most popular online email marketing solutions out there and one of the most well known on the market.
Although it has been left behind a bit nowadays, especially when it comes to automated email marketing, there’s still a lot of good reasons to take a closer look.
MailChimp is a popular starting point for those getting started in email marketing because it allows a very generous 12,000 email or 2000 subscriber limit for free.
MailChimp has an excellent template designer, subscriber manager and has iPhone/Android tracking apps. It’s also got lots of tools for targeting and retargeting users.
It’s got excellent tracking tools which show you subscription rate, opening percentages, click rate and other useful stats to help you improve your campaigns.
MailChimp can even recommend the optimum time for sending out mails based on your subscriber behavior and target other subscribers that may be interested in your content.
MailChimp features some of the best third party integration of any email marketing tool out there with the ability to connect to over 2000 apps such as CRM software and project management tools courtesy of Zapier.
One thing to be careful with though with Mailchimp is that it has strict rules on the content of your email marketing campaigns.
Some users report having their accounts suddenly suspended for mentioning things like “making money online” or “internet marketing”.
MailChimp is free for 12,000 mails/2000 subscribers which is one of the most generous free deals on the market and there’s no need to give your credit card details in order to use it.
If you need more power, there are monthly payments plans starting from $10+ per month for sending unlimited mails to 50,000 subscribers or $425+ per month if you’re a big business with heavy-duty email marketing needs.
You can find full details on MailChimp pricing here.
- Free for up to 2000 contacts
- Easy to create campaigns
- Hundreds of integrations
- Detailed reporting features
- Expensive paid plans
- Online support only
- No automated marketing features
If you’re a small business on a tight budget, then the best free email marketing software is ConvertKit.
ConvertKit is an incredibly popular marketing tool used by bloggers, individuals and those that run online courses to promote their brand.
If you’re looking for fancy looking newsletters and mailouts then ConvertKit probably isn’t for you but if you’re looking for an email marketing solution that you can use in minutes, it’s a breath of fresh air.
ConvertKit is ideal for those that want to share what they are doing with their audience without getting bogged down in the complexities of advanced email marketing.
You can start using ConvertKit for free now and the free version allows creation of unlimited landing pages and forms, unlimited traffic, a customizable domain and the ability to manage up to 1000 subscribers.
- Free plan supports 1000 contacts
- Ideal for freelancers or one person businesses looking to promote themselves
- Very easy to use
- Limited templates
- Not suitable for agencies
- Limited email marketing tools
Email Marketing Templates For Mac
When it comes to email marketing templates for Mac users, most email marketing solutions include their own range of customizable mail out templates although none of them actually allow you to download and edit them on your Mac desktop.
You can however use Mail Designer 365 for Mac in macOS which allows you to create professional looking templates without needing any knowledge of HTML.
You can then import the designs in HTML format into any of the email marketing solutions reviewed here.
However, to export your designs you’ll have to pay with in-app purchases starting from $29.49 going up to over $200 for businesses.
Bulk Email Software & Spamming
Using email blast software on a Mac aggressively can quickly earn you a reputation as a spammer among customers.
Spamming (bombarding people with commercial e-mail) or sending Unsolicited Commercial Email (UCE) should be avoided at all costs and is even illegal in some countries.
You should also only use e-mail marketing software to target customers who have willingly given you their e-mail address for commercial purposes.
Harvesting e-mail addresses from the internet and spamming them may not only be illegal but will have a negative effect on your organizations reputation.
And subscribers should also always be offered an “Opt-out” or “Unsubscribe” option in every mail out you send.
Bulk mailing can also result in your internet connection being suspended by your ISP. You should check with your email provider whether it supports bulk mailing – Gmail for example limits e-mail sending to 500 a day to prevent spamming.