Email marketing

The 10 best email services and marketing platforms of 2022

Chris Newton, January 14th 2022
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Email marketing is one of the best ways to connect with your audience. Along with SMS marketing and your website, email marketing is one of the few channels that you can own and have complete control of the content.

With email, you determine who it’s sent to, when it’s sent, and how often. Other channels like paid advertising and social media use complex algorithms that may prevent accurate targeting and make it hard for you to get your content in front of the right people.

Focus on building your owned marketing lists, including email and SMS, because these are the most direct and controlled ways to communicate with your customers. Combined with your website, email marketing is an extremely powerful and effective tool that can help to grow your business.

What is an email marketing service provider or platform?

An email marketing platform—sometimes referred to as an email marketing service or email service provider (ESP)—is a tool used to create and send emails to a specified list of email addresses.

They can be used to send anything from monthly newsletters to shipping confirmation emails, back-in-stock notification emails, abandoned cart emails, and other communications.

Email marketing services have come a long way since the early days of the internet. As email providers like Gmail have become more advanced, email marketing tools have had to adapt to offer cutting-edge technology that can keep up with the changes.

Most of today’s email marketing tools have built-in features that allow you to create templated emails, email marketing campaigns, automation flows, segments, lists—to name just a few.

Best email marketing platforms

An email marketing platform is one of the first tools a new business chooses when they’re getting started.

Below is a list of the top 10 best email marketing platforms. This is not a comprehensive list, but is designed to encompass a wide variety of platforms for companies of different sizes and use cases.

1. Klaviyo

Price: free to start with no credit cart for up to 250 contacts, forever; pay only for the number of contacts you have over 250

Year launched: 2012

Target audience: growing businesses—small, medium, and large companies

Klaviyo features: pre-built automations and campaigns, advanced segmentation and personalization features, list import and export features, signup forms, ecommerce platform integrations, Facebook ads integrations, A/B split testing, and much more

2. Mailchimp

Price: free to start

Year launched: 2001

Target audience: entrepreneurs and new brands just getting started

Mailchimp features: email template building and campaign scheduling features, open and click tracking, signup forms, and landing pages

3. Campaign Monitor

Price: get started for free; basic plan starting at $9/mo

Year launched: 2004

Target audience: medium and large businesses

Campaign Monitor features: email campaigns, marketing automation, personalization, contacts, and segmentation

4. Hubspot

Price: free to start

Year launched: 2006

Target audience: small and medium-sized businesses

HubSpot features: CRM, email marketing, lists and segmentation, personalization, and reporting and analytics

5. Drip

Price: $49 to start; free 14-day trial

Year launched: 2013

Target audience: ecommerce companies, bloggers, and digital marketers.

Drip features: email template building and campaign scheduling features, open and click tracking, signup forms, and landing pages

6. ActiveCampaign

Price: free trial

Year launched: 2003

Target audience: businesses of all sizes

ActiveCampaign features: built-in CRM, list customization, list triggers, lead scoring, predictive sending, and form builder

Best paid email marketing platforms

7. Iterable

Price: by request

Year launched: 2013

Target audience: large businesses

Iterable features: growth marketing, personalized marketing, email marketing, direct mail, and mobile marketing

8. Listrak

Price: by request

Year launched: 1999

Target audience: large retailers

Listrak features: cross-channel orchestration, SMS, social, behavioral-based triggers, predictive personalization, and customer insights

9. Sailthru

Price: by request

Year launched: 2008

Target audience: enterprise brands

Sailthru features: personalization, analytics, dynamic audiences, campaign builder, and A/B split testing

10. Emarsys

Price: by request

Year launched: 2000

Target audience: large ecommerce and retail brands

Emarsys features: omnichannel automation, reporting and analytics, personalization, integrations, and a customer data platform

Choose wisely

Email marketing is a great way to connect with your audience and form personal relationships with your customers. Email marketing tools have become more sophisticated over the years, and not all are created equal.

Here are some questions to ask your prospective email provider before committing:

  • Can I easily build email segments and lists using properties I know about my customer like actions the customer has taken?
  • Can I easily create new templates?
  • Can I easily create new email campaigns and pull in relevant personalized data into these emails, like product information, date of birth, and other properties?
  • Can I easily create email automations and flows that will trigger based on a user’s actions, including signing up for an email newsletter, placing an order, or requesting customer service?
  • Is there an easy way to collect information about my customers and have this automatically sync with my email platform, like using signup forms?
  • Is there an easy way for me to find and review information about a customer?
  • Do I have an easy way to import and export list data?
  • Do I have to sign a contract, or do I have flexible, month-to-month pricing?
  • Am I billed on how many emails I send, how many contacts I have, or do I have to pay a flat fee?
  • Is there an easy way for me to measure email return on investment (ROI) on the platform?
  • What reporting features are available? Does the tool only report on opens and clicks, or can I go deeper to truly understand the effectiveness of my campaigns and automations?
  • Are there pre-existing templates for email campaigns and automations that I can use to save time in getting set up?
  • Does this tool integrate with other tools I’m using, such as the ecommerce platform I’m currently on?
  • Can I easily build out relevant automations, like abandoned cart flows, welcome series flows, and shipping notifications?

Keep in mind that each email marketing platform has its own strengths and weaknesses. At the end of the day, you should make the decision to go with the one that meets the unique needs of your business.

The best email marketing platform for your business

Whether you’re just getting started with email marketing or a seasoned veteran, this list will have a tool for every use case.

From segmentation to personalization to reporting and analytics, you’ll find a tool that can help you connect with your audience on one of the most effective mediums available to you. But the best email marketing tool will be unique for every business, based on their own goals and audience.

Ready to get started for free?
Try Klaviyo today
Chris Newton
Chris Newton
Former inbound marketing manager
Chris Newton is Klaviyo's former Inbound Marketing Manager, where he oversaw SEO and conversion rate optimization. Chris has several years of experience working for SaaS companies in the tech industry, and has consulted with hundreds of clients, helping them develop their digital marketing strategies to grow their businesses online. Chris holds an MBA from Champlain College in Burlington, VT. When not at work, he enjoys traveling, cooking, and cheering on Boston sports teams.