One of the most effective ways to encourage repeat visitors to your side project, to engage paying customers, and to improve conversion rates is to get people to sign up with their email address.

Sure, we may spend more time scanning Facebook and Reddit for interesting bits of news, but nothing is quite as direct as email marketing. It can also be great for users who want to keep up with your product, but don’t want to set a reminder to come back every week and check on it. So, how do you go about building an email list and sending regular updates?

The great thing about email marketing tools like these are that you can start building an audience without a completed product or service. You don’t have to know how to write email-compliant HTML (which involves lots of tables and is a huge pain), you don’t have to have an email server, and you (usually) don’t have to write any code.

Here’s a rundown of email marketing tools and a little bit about them.

All Email Marketing Tools

  • 1  Autopilot ($19.99) - Autopilot covers more than just in-app chat; you can use it to build complex customer journeys as well.

  • 1  Mad Mimi ($10) - I’ve used Mad Mimi as a lower cost alternative to Mailchimp, but I’m not as keen on their email creation UI.

  • 1  Mailchimp ($0) - You may have heard about them in a podcast advertisement, but Mailchimp is great for a number of reasons. Their email template builder is simple to use and they have a generous free tier for up to 2000 subscribers. Sign up today to get a free $30 credit!

  • 1  MailerLite ($0) - Email Marketing Service for Small Business with all features (Segmentation, Automation, A/B testing, …) for up to 1,000 subscribers & unlimited emails for free.

  • 1  Mautic ($0) - Mautic offers a whole suite of open source marketing automation software. I still haven’t tried it, but I’ve heard good things.

  • 0  ActiveCampaign ($9) - Lets you create automated marketing workflows as well as manage emails and newsletters.

  • 0  ActiveTrail ($7)

  • 0  Aweber ($19)

  • 0  Benchmark Email ($0)

  • 0  BigMailer ($0) - Has a startup-friendly free tier (up to 5K contacts). It runs on Amazon SES and has built-in brand and multi-optin management.

  • 0  Buttondown ($0) - Buttondown lets you write emails in markdown. That’s pretty awesome.

  • 0  Cakemail ($8)

  • 0  Campaign Monitor ($9)

  • 0  Campaigner ($19.95)

  • 0  Charley ($0)

  • 0  Constant Contact ($17)

  • 0  Convertkit ($29) - This one is good if you’re primarily using your email newsletter to promote your blog.

  • 0  Drip ($0) - Drip helps you build sales automation email flows. This looks interesting although I haven’t personally tried it.

  • 0  Drip Scripts ($0) - Coming up with drip email campaigns is time-consuming and creatively tough. Dripscript helps you by packaging up templates of drip campaign emails for you.

  • 0  Email Monster ($0) - A free drag-and-drop email editor.

  • 0  EmailOctopus ($0) - Email marketing for less, via Amazon SES.

  • 0  Flashissue ($10) - Unlike most email creators, Flashissue works with Gmail, so you don’t even have to leave your inbox to send out newsletters. It’s a novel approach to email marketing that I’m excited to try, plus it’s free.

  • 0  FreshMail ($0)

  • 0  GetResponse ($12.3)

  • 0  Google MailApp Scripts ($0) - This is kind of an unconventional option, but if you’re a developer, you might like working with the command line rather than a GUI. Google’s MailApp API could be perfect for you.

  • 0  Hubspot Email Marketing ($0) - If you already use Hubspot, this will integrate nicely with their CRM.

  • 0  Litmus ($79)

  • 0  Mailget ($24)

  • 0  Mailgun ($0) - Mailgun is an api-only email sending tool, so if your service needs to send transactional emails or you prefer writing your emails in vim, Mailgun is for you.

  • 0  Mailjet ($0)

  • 0  Mailshake ($19) - Especially for cold email outreach.

  • 0  Mixmax ($9)

  • 0  ReachMail ($0)

  • 0  Retainly ($0)

  • 0  Revue ($0) - Makes the sending process super simple by allowing you to add links to your newsletters from Pocket, plus you can start with 50 subscribers for free.

  • 0  Sendgrid ($9.95) - Sendgrid has long been my go-to for api-driven email, and now you can actually create campaigns and templates in Sendgrid as well.

  • 0  Sendy ($59) - A great bargain option that is backed by Amazon SES. The $59 fee is a one-time price instead of monthly.

  • 0  Sumo ($0) - Helps by emphasizing better email capture through popups.

  • 0  ToutApp ($49)

  • 0  Vertical Response ($0)

  • 0  Yesware ($12)

  • 0  iContact ($11.9)


Did I miss a tool that you love? Submit your suggestions here, or email me to suggest an update.