The 13 Best Email Newsletter Software Tools in 2020

The money’s in the list they say.

Content marketers are quick to ideate topics, even promote their content. We often forget the treasure in building up a good email list, though.

Of course, you need a few content marketing tools to help you do that. You need a good lead capture form (pop up or just a regular old static web form). And then you need some email marketing software to send out your lovely newsletter.

I’ve tried a lot of different newsletter software. Back in college at my first internship, I was using Constant Contact, and now I even work at a company that builds and sells email marketing tools (very good email tools, as well).

Additionally, I’ve built and sent newsletters for dozens of clients. Lots of experience in this realm (and strong opinions built up).

At the end of the day, there’s no “best email newsletter tool” or best email marketing software in general, it’s really a question of which one is the best for your particular use case.

I’ll help you filter through the many, many options, though, so you don’t have to waste hours of your like on Google and filtering all the marketing copy.

By the end of this post you should have a good idea of which tool you’ll want to use, and almost all of the newsletter software on this list has some sort of freemium or free trial options.

(Also, note: at a certain point, all the basic email marketing features are pretty much covered. Literally all of these tools are ‘easy to use’ and feature a drag-and-drop editor and ready made email templates. The features differentiation at the advanced level with stuff like A/B testing, integrations, automation, and robust data reporting capabilities. We’ll cover all of that!)

Finally, I’ll be adding some affiliate links to some of these listings. Affiliate links won’t affect the inclusion or the ordering of this list, just a little low hanging fruit bonus for me by adding them.

The 13 Best Email Newsletter Software Tools in 2020

  1. HubSpot
  2. Mailchimp
  3. Constant Contact
  4. ConvertKit
  5. GetResponse
  6. SendInBlue
  7. Aweber
  8. ActiveCampaign
  9. Benchmark
  10. SendPulse
  11. Mailjet
  12. Campaign Monitor
  13. Klaviyo

1. HubSpot

To get the disclaimer out of the way, of course I’m biased here. But even without the biweekly paycheck, I’d still consider HubSpot’s free email marketing platform the best available on this list. I think that for many reasons.

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First, it’s free. You can send up to 2,000 emails per month on the free tier, which is great for when you’re starting out. Starter tier pricing starts at $50 a month and then you’ve got a 5X contact tier email send limit per calendar month.

Second, it’s easy to use. While I love getting wildly technical when it comes to personalization, behavioral triggering, and automation, I hate getting my hands dirty with design. In fact, I hate well-designed overly pretty email newsletters, but that’s a different rant (gimme a good plain text email anyday). HubSpot’s got an easy to use WYSIWYG editor and templates you can just plug and play.

Finally, it integrates with other tech stack tools easily. I can plug it up to my TypeForm account to pull in email leads. I also use HubSpot CRM, so all the contact lists are stored there. I use HubSpot’s popup tool as well on my blog, so all my leads are just dropped in the email contacts. I also use a Mailmunch form at the bottom of my posts, and all of those leads are automatically transferred to HubSpot too.

Also, HubSpot’s got a nice handy WordPress plugin you can install if you use WP.

Price: starts free up to 2,000 emails per month, $50 is the starting point for paid plans (“Starter” tier) which includes other tools and automation capabilities.

G2 score: 4.5 (not email marketing quadrant specific, but overall G2 score)

2. Mailchimp

Mailchimp is definitely the big name in email marketing and for good reason: it’s a great tool, starts free, and is easy to use.

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In fact, I’ve still got Mailchimp set up for my personal website. One of the most important things that I care about when it comes to marketing technology? The integrations available. Turns out, Mailchimp, because of its relative ubiquity as a top email marketing solution, integrates with nearly everything.

I currently use HubSpot’s lead generation tools, and I connect those directly to my Mailchimp ESP (I also connect MailMunch forms). For several clients that use landing page builders, I’ve hooked up Unbounce or Instapage to Mailchimp directly.

Mailchimp is more than an email marketing platform now, offering advanced features like marketing automation or email automation, landing pages, powerful list segmentation etc. But what I like them for most is their simplicity and integrations. Maybe if I had more of an advanced use case, I’d step up to a more powerful platform, but for my couple thousand subscribers, Mailchimp is great. If you’re just starting out, I can highly recommend Mailchimp.

Price: starts free up to 2,000 contacts and unlimited email sends

G2 score: 4.3/5

3. Constant Contact

Constant Contact is the o.g. of the email newsletter tool world, operational since 1995 or so. I used them at one of my very first college internships to send newsletters to a network of different university presidents and leaders. It was easy to use then, but since that time, many other tools have surpassed its functionality in terms of power and automation features.

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If you want a simple newsletter tool to get you started, Constant Contact isn’t a bad option. It’s still super widely used, and it’s going to fulfill your basic requirements (segmenting subscribers, unsubscribe functionality, an easy to use email editor).

If you need more advanced email automation functionality, though, you’re better off going with one of the others (HubSpot, ConvertKit, or Active Campaign being some of the more powerful ones on the automation front.

Constant Contact is great for small businesses and those with straightforward content and newsletter needs. It’s affordable and reliable, and I’ve enjoyed using it in the past (though not as user-friendly as other tools or as powerful). Simple, gets the job done.

Price: starts at $20/month

G2 score: 3.9/5

4. ConvertKit

ConvertKit is the email newsletter platform made especially for bloggers (and other content creators like podcasters and YouTubers). In this sense, they’ve done a great job in differentiation in a crowded field that mostly looks the same.

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Despite entering the game late, they’ve dominated that specific niche (which is quite expansive and large, especially nowadays). At the time of writing this, they’ve bootstrapped to some $20 million in annual recurring revenue. Impressive!

People like the tool because of its powerful segmentation capabilities, email automation, and integration with other available marketing tools like sign up opt-in forms, landing pages, and tons of third party integrations.

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If you’re a course creator, blogger, YouTuber, or any other type of creative content creator, this is really the platform for you.

Price: their free plan is awesome, up to 1000 subscribers + landing pages and a bunch of other features. $29/month after that

G2 score: 4.5 (not on email marketing quadrant, but overall score)

5. GetResponse

GetResponse is another older player, a tried and true reliable email marketing platform that also includes all the bells and whistles you’d need to run a fully fledged inbound marketing program – landing pages, webinars, sign up forms, lead magnets, funnels, Facebook ads and social media promotions, autoresponders, and more.

They bill themselves as “marketing software for small businesses,” but I think they scale quite nicely as well.

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One anecdotal finding of mine is that their pricing is much better as you scale to many list subscribers (which is important in newsletters, because your contacts ceiling needs to be higher since not everyone is a customer — this gives the advantage to a platform like GetResponse over a more holistic tool like Intercom, Drift, HubSpot, Marketo, SalesForce, or Eloqua).

Another anecdotal finding of mine is that their deliverability is superior to almost all of the other tools I’ve tried. There are studies out there that rank email deliverability, but in my specific experience, this one beats out Mailchimp and other leaders.

Downsides of the platform are also the upsides: too many tools means not all features are best in class. I’d not opt to use their lead generation or landing page tools, so this ends up being wasted space and clunky.

Overall, good newsletter tool for small to medium sized business.

Price: Starts at $12/month

G2 score: 4.5 (not in email marketing quadrant, but total score)

6. SendInBlue

SendInBlue is a France-based marketing platform that specializes in email marketing.

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They, like many others on this list, are more than just an email marketing platform. In fact, they offer even greater feature sets than others, which include tools like SMS marketing, live chat, CRM, signup forms, Facebook Ads, and of course, automation

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Plus, pretty much all the major ecommerce platforms (WordPress/WooCommerce, Shopify, Magento, etc., plus other tools like Zapier to fill in the gaps) have direct integrations with SendInBlue, so you can build a full tech stock on this thing.

Great overall marketing platform, potentially overkill if you just need a simple informational newsletter blast.

Price: starts free, micro tier begins at $25 per month

G2 score: 4.5/5

7. Aweber

Aweber is one of the earliest email newsletter tools I remember learning about. For some reason I remember Seth Godin being a power user. I’m not sure if that memory is accurate or not, but it’s always colored by the idea of Aweber as being one of the earliest and strangers newsletter tools, particular for content heavy users (like Godin, or perhaps course creators).

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They’ve always been strong on the automation side, teaching the world what autoresponders are. If they didn’t invent the drip campaign, they certainly helped popularize it.

They were founded in 1998, and despite the field growing with tons of new competitors since then, they’ve retained a core passionate following.

No freemium option, but they’re super affordable for small businesses and solo bloggers at $19 per month.

Pricing: $19/month

G2 Score: 4.2/5

8. ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign is the fast riser on this list. Founded in 2003 in Chicago, they’ve grown to some 500 employees and about $100 million revenue per year.

More pressingly, they seem to have the most passionate fans of any tool on this list (save maybe ConvertKit for information marketers).

ActiveCampaign has some of the most powerful automation and personalization capabilities for a point solution. For the technical growth geek, they’re a blissful solution, allowing you to do things with machine learning and predictive targeting that most other tools can’t dream of.

Plus, they’re flush with a full feature set, including a CRM and sales and conversational tools:

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Honestly, if you just need to send an email blast a few times a month, ActiveCampaign is probably overkill. But if you want to do some super cool targeting and inbound (and outbound) marketing automation, then this is one of the best in class.

Pricing: starts at $9/month for the super basic version, goes up to $49/month for “Plus” version

G2 Score: — not in the Email Marketing quadrant (but received a 4.6/5 overall)

9. Benchmark

Benchmark is a simple and somewhat generic email marketing platform that is perfect for those that don’t want to mess with the fancy automaton and targeting features that other platforms offer.

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It’s great for simple newsletter sends, and you’ll love the drag-and-drop editor, email templates, and lack of need to customize or set anything up in a time consuming way.

If you just want to hit the ground running (and that’s actually a totally valid desire), this is a good one.

Pricing: free up to 250 emails per month, $12/month for up to 100k contacts.

G2 Score: 4.1/5

10. SendPulse

Okay, so despite being a smaller name in the grander sense of marketing technology, SendPulse is actually one of the best newsletter solutions. Why? They’re hyper focused on it and don’t care about building a CRM to compete with SalesForce or automation to compete with HubSpot.

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Here’s how they describe their services:

“SendPulse maximizes the core metric of e-mail marketing – newsletter open rate – automatically. We collect tons of data about billions of subscribers in our system and predict the best time and channel for each subscriber when to deliver the next message to him.”

If your primary use case is sending email campaigns and your primary metric is open rate or click through rate (i.e. you need people to read the darn things), then this tool is awesome.

It’s simple to use, does most of the subject line optimization & time based A/B testing work for you, and is quite affordable. Overall a great email marketing service.

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Pricing: Depends on subscribers – up to 500 for free, 500-100 is $6 a month and so on.

G2 Score: 4.7/5

11. Mailjet

Mailjet is more of an email delivery platform on par with something like SendGrid, but they also offer tools for marketers like email marketing campaign builders and analytics. However, their more known for their developer tools like their email API & SMTP relay.

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Their pricing is vastly superior to most other tools on this list, and they’re hyper focused on email marketing. So if you don’t want to tack on lead forms, landing pages, and all the other stuff the other tools include, this one could be cool.

Pricing: free plan goes up to 6,000 emails per month, $9.65 for up to 30,000 emails a month.

G2 Score: 3.9/5 (not on email marketing quadrant, but that’s their aggregated score)

12. Campaign Monitor

Campaign Monitor is an email newsletter tool that also features a broad swatch of marketing features like signup forms and analytics. Though their bread and butter is email, and they’re good at it.

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They do it all – transactional, marketing, behavioral emails. And of course, they’ve got great deliverability metrics for a good old fashioned newsletter email blast.

Good all around tool.

Pricing: Basic pricing starts at $9 a month, unlimited emails across campaigns and automated emails starts at $29/month. Best package is $149/month, which features spam detection metrics so you can hit gmail inboxes more accurately + email optimization and real-time QA features.

G2 Score: 4.1/5

13. Klaviyo

Klaviyo has some of the most powerful and useful ecommerce automation tools out there.

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Again, these guys are more than a simple newsletter tool. You can do transactional emails as well as email blasts, but they really thrive on the behavioral stuff: cart abandonment emails, browse abandonment emails, triggered emails, etc.

Their email builder is like all others: simple, user-friendly, with easy templated email designs. Their real differentiation point is automation, and specifically for retailers to improve the shopping experience and drive conversions.

Pricing: contact based — up to 250 contacts is free, then starts at $20 a month. Bonus: you get unlimited emails to send

G2 Score: 4.6/5 (not on email marketing quadrant but this is their overall score)

Conclusion

At the end of the day, what you need for a good newsletter service is pretty basic: good deliverability, user-friendly email builder, and good pricing.

All of these tools hit those criteria, but some go far beyond that.

If you just need a basic tool to blast out newsletters, you can’t go wrong with Mailchimp or Constant Contact. If you want a full service automation platform, you’ll want to look into HubSpot, Active Campaign, or Klaviyo if you’re running an ecommerce shop.

I don’t think any of the tools on this list will fail you. To an extent, it’s all about personal preference. So at this point, either narrow down based on “must have” features, analyze by pricing tiers and go for the economic play, or just flip a coin and start actually doing the work of building an email list and building your business!

Alex Birkett
Alex Birkett is a Growth Marketer and Content Strategist based in Austin, Texas. He's a proud UW-Madison graduate and enjoys craft beer, lifting weights, and sailing.

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